Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

Skater Re:Finally big enough? (241 comments)

I saw a documentary that demonstrated the Exxon Valdeez was large enough to support life for quite a few long as no one dropped a match into the tanks, of course.

5 hours ago

Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

Skater Re:Study is quite incomplete (261 comments)

I lost faith when I saw this entry:

Mercury Topaz – 28.8%

A small family sedan that hasn't been made since 1994 still hits #7 in getting the most tickets? It's the Mercury version of the Ford Tempo, which didn't make the top 20 at all. And I'd be willing to bet Ford sold a lot more Tempos than they did Topazs...

about three weeks ago

BlackBerry Launches Square-Screened Passport Phone

Skater Re:WTF? (189 comments)

I had a similar problem with a work-issued Blackberry 9930. The only chargers that worked with it were the included Blackberry charger and the charger for my Samsung S3. We have at least 30 chargers laying around our house and cars, ranging from name brands like Apple and Samsung to no-name chargers we got for free, including chargers for my wife's iPad and my Asus tablet, and I tried them all. Only the Blackberry and Samsung adapters worked to charge the Blackberry. The cable didn't seem to matter - as long as it had the correct USB port, it worked - but the power adapter did.

about a month ago

Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Skater Re:Nope they are clever (336 comments)

Here in the US, I've done it once, and that was to confirm the chip in my card worked before I flew off to Europe with it. Turns out it's a chip-and-signature card, so it was as useless there as any other non-NFC card...perhaps even more useless come to think of it, because it ACTED like it was working. (From reading Slashdot, I knew this was likely the case before leaving, and I'd asked my banks about a chip-and-PIN card and got back, "Wuuhhh?", so I was prepared for this problem.)

So, for us, the Apple pay is actually a nice leap forward - as others said, right now it's a very fragmented market. I've had an Android phone with an NFC chip for two years now, and I've used it perhaps half a dozen times, just playing around to see if I could scan a credit card, my passport, or my cat's RFID chip (no go on the cat). Until I saw the Apple Pay announcement, I didn't care whether my next phone (which I had already decided was going to be an iPhone) had an NFC chip or not. I get why people in other countries wouldn't care as much about it, though.

about a month ago

iOS 8 Review

Skater Re:Just one question... (216 comments)

Only 3rd party alarm apps - the built-in app from Apple works fine whether it's in the foreground or not.

about a month ago

iOS 8 Review

Skater Just one question... (216 comments)

I have an iPhone 6 on order, and I plan to use it either way, but I couldn't find the answer to this in the article: Can I use a playlist for an alarm, or can alarm apps work correctly in the background? Since the built-in alarm app only plays one song, you had to use another app if you wanted to wake up to a random song off a playlist. iOS 7 and older versions required that app to be in the foreground for it to play the song. Normally not a big deal, but if you answered a text message in the middle of the night or couldn't sleep and did a little websurfing and forgot to switch back to the alarm app, your alarm wouldn't go off. This isn't an issue with Android, and I'm hoping Apple has fixed this serious limitation - either by allowing the alarm app to use a playlist, or by allowing 3rd party apps to play a song without being in the foreground. It's my biggest pet peeve about iOS, especially after having an Android phone without this limit for the last two years. (If you read reviews in the App Store for alarm apps, most or all of them have people complaining about the app having to be in the foreground - they don't realize it's a limit of iOS rather than a limit of the app. So, I know it's not just me that's annoyed by this.)

about a month ago

iPhone 6 Sales Crush Means Late-Night Waits For Some Early Adopters

Skater Re:"Early adopters"? (222 comments)

I ordered one this morning, because I can't wait to stop using my Samsung S3. The S3 was supposed to be an iPhone killer; instead, it killed my interest in Android.

about a month ago

Facebook Cleans Up News Feed By Reducing Click-Bait Headlines

Skater Re:"facebook", if your not paying for the ad... (61 comments)

It has only gotten worse. I'm planning to close my account soon. The final straw for me was a group that a friend runs is now invisible to several of us in the group - there's nothing on his end that would seem to be causing it, and I (and several others) didn't block it, least three of us can't see the group (there are probably more, but you don't notice it's missing until you go look for it, and of course any post from the group doesn't show up on our walls). Even when he sends us a direct URL to the group page, it just takes us back to our own feed. Facebook is turning into Skynet. I just need to get a few family members to revert back to email for contacting me, clean up a few things, then I'm out.

about 2 months ago

35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Skater Re:Lies and statistics... (570 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.

about 3 months ago

Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture

Skater Re:Dragnet (511 comments)

That was Airplane!

about 3 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 4 months ago

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 5 months ago

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 5 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 6 months ago

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 6 months ago



Virginia Supreme Court Strikes Down Anti-Spam Law

Skater Skater writes  |  more than 6 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."



Common Slashdot References

Skater Skater writes  |  about 11 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 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.



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. :)


Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?