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Yahoo Will Ignore IE 10's "Do Not Track"

Skyshadow Obviously (360 comments)

Is it really a surprise that a failing business like Yahoo! would ignore its users in an attempt to make money?

Look, the obvious lesson here is that no business can be trusted to keep secrets. Also: Water is wet, fire is hot. Don't give out anything you don't want to get out there, no matter what some PHB promises you.

about 2 years ago

Do you like your cell phone?

Skyshadow Increasingly inappropriately name (396 comments)

At some point, we're going to have to accept that the devices we carry around with us aren't really "phones" anymore. They're powerful computers that happen to be able to make the odd phone call in between accessing the internet, playing games, taking photos and storing data.

That established, I'm pretty happy with my iPhone 4s. The glaring omission is turn-by-turn directions -- I consider it a public safety issue when I see people looking down at their phones trying to figure out what exit they need to get off on.

more than 2 years ago

Stealing Laptops For Class Credit

Skyshadow Re:Laptops are easy. (138 comments)

I work for a large company, large enough that I see people I don't recognize on our campus every single day.

Two years ago this weekend (Presidents Day, which is a holiday at our office) we had an enterprising thief roll a cart around our office around 5 PM on Friday, loading up laptops. Of course, by then most everyone had skipped out for their long weekend, but if someone was in the office he'd tell them it was for the "weekend virus scanner upgrade", promising people that their machines would be back on Tuesday morning.

I don't know this part for a fact -- our security people and management don't talk about this at all -- but I've heard it enough that I believe it: When someone objected to having their laptop taken, he'd act irritated and ask why they "didn't reply to any of the emails about the upgrade" and then make a show of updating his clipboard -- he'd collect the asset tag from the machine, office number and actually get the person to sign on the line.

I have no idea how many machines he made off with, but it was enough that we all had to suffer new BS security procedures for a year afterword. I would imagine that you could do this at pretty much any big office and get away with it.

more than 2 years ago

Torvalds Becomes an American Citizen

Skyshadow Re:WOAH WOAH WOAH (654 comments)

Bravo, sir. Bravo.

about 4 years ago

Torvalds Becomes an American Citizen

Skyshadow Derp (654 comments)

He took our jerbs!

about 4 years ago

Homebrew Cray-1

Skyshadow The originals really are something else (140 comments)

Back when I was an intern with SGI, we took a day off* to visit the Chippewa Falls Museum**, which has a good-size collection of Control Data and Cray Supercomputer relics along with other items relevant to my interests***.

I got to poke around inside of an original Cray-1. To me, the most interesting thing about it was just how insanely packed the internal wiring was; I'd been expecting the intricate plumbing, but the sheer volume of wires running from Point A to Point B was really impressive. I mentioned this to the guy giving the tour, who turned out to be a retired manufacturing supervisor -- he told me that the hardest part of his job was finding women with both enough skill and small enough hands to handle the internal wiring jobs. The thing had been assembled *by hand*, every connection in this crazy bulk of wired clipped or soldered into place one after another.

Anyhow, after that I sat on the couch. It was not comfy.

* My boss was *pissed* about this -- she went around telling anyone that would listen that "interns are here to work, not go sightseeing". This marks the one and only time in my career that anyone in HR has ever done anything worthwhile, calling her up and telling her this was part of the program and she didn't get a vote.
** Seymour Cray moved to Chippewa Falls, his hometown, when he was still with Control Data because he felt most middle managers wouldn't want to drive that far just to bother him. Visionary man, that Seymour Cray.
*** Stuff from Leinenkugals.

about 4 years ago

Richest Planetary System Discovered With 7 Planets

Skyshadow Richest? (245 comments)

At seven planets, I'm reasonably sure this qualifies as the *second* richest planetary system we're aware of.

about 4 years ago

Onion Story Gets Blown Out of Proportion

Skyshadow Seems legit to me (641 comments)

"Should event occur in urban areas.... Jesus.... (haunted) That's.. classified."

Seriously, people are complete and total retards. And I mean that in the 3rd grade definition, not in any clinical sense. This should not be news to anyone, especially those of us who've been kicking around the internet for more than a couple of weeks.

more than 4 years ago

Antidepressants In the Water Are Making Shrimp Suicidal

Skyshadow (182 comments)

Whereas some people see disturbing potential side effects of our best attempts to regulate brain chemistry, I see a business opportunity and a way to meet heavily-tattooed hot short girls.

more than 4 years ago

Nerds Still More Likely To Get Bullied

Skyshadow Re:This is the loaded term (480 comments)

I realize that this being Slashdot and this being a bully thread we're going to get a lot of "woe is me" replies, but on the flip side kids don't become bullies just because they wake up and decide it'd be a fun way to pass the time. Based on my childhood sample, they do it because:

(a) It's the conflict resolution method they learned at home, either from dad beating the hell out of mom or both parents laying into the kid, or
(b) They're screwed up emotionally, often from abuse, and as children don't have any idea how to deal with it.

One of the bullies who caused me (and a lot of other kids) a lot of grief in middle school turned out to have been molested by his uncle. Another lived in a trailer park and had no mom and a dad who was constantly falling down drunk and, I suspect, physically abusive to him. These are just the two I know for sure about, I'm betting that this isn't some wildly exotic circumstance.

In retrospect, I'm the one who got off easy. What those poor kids had to deal with was far, far worse than having their books slapped out of their hands or the occasional bumps and bruises.

more than 4 years ago

RIAA Says LimeWire Owes $1.5 Trillion

Skyshadow Obviously (510 comments)

It should be clear to anyone that the damage caused by Limewire dwarf those from, say, BP.

Also, the RIAA is full of retards. No offense to people with actual disabilities, mind you, unless they work at the RIAA.

more than 4 years ago

Bill Gates's The Road Ahead, 15 Years Later

Skyshadow Still worked out better than my own predictions (280 comments)

It's easy to make fun of Bill for his predictions, but I'll admit my own haven't worked out so great either. Here from 1995:

- By 2010, as many as 1 out of every 25 people will have an email account, causing massive slowdown of the FidoNet.
- I'll never be that old guy who gets his video-game ass handed to him by 13 year olds.
- Register Nah, that'd be a waste of $100.
- Being a programmer will be a totally safe field -- it's not like people in India will suddenly all get computers and start coding.


more than 4 years ago

Sniffing the Wireless Traffic of MIT Students

Skyshadow One up (218 comments)

Shoulda saved the results of the sniffing to Richard Stallman's account for old times sake.

more than 4 years ago

US Supreme Court Upholds Indefinite Confinement

Skyshadow Re:A free society. (745 comments)

Justices decide if the Constitution prohibits a law, not if the law is a good idea.

IANACL (I Am Not A Constitutional Lawyer), but I don't understand how this law would necessarily be unconstitutional -- these people are being given access to due process, and are essentially being held on the same legal basis that the government uses to commit the dangerously mentally ill (which, really, is what these folks are).

This isn't to debate the merits of the law itself, of course, but blaming the Democratic-leaning justices for ruling on the law's constitutionality (esp, in a 7-2 decision) is pretty weak.

more than 4 years ago

US Supreme Court Upholds Indefinite Confinement

Skyshadow Re:Scope (745 comments)

Actually it is even more limited than that - they have to be mentally ill as well as "sexually dangerous".

Another obvious issue with this ruling is that "Sexually Dangerous" just sounds like a Prince song.

more than 4 years ago

US Supreme Court Upholds Indefinite Confinement

Skyshadow Scope (745 comments)

Reading about this today, I found that the scope of this particular decision is less scary than I initially assumed -- it's limited to prisoners who meet a standard as being "sexually dangerous", so they're not just being held without due process. Apparently this applies to about 100 prisoners nationwide.

The trouble here is that we, as a society, have real trouble in applying common sense in our legal system. You start with an obvious good thing (keeping violent sex offenders behind bars) and it grows into something completely different -- consider the way the term "sex offender" has been distorted. Once you start allowing this sort of action, where's the protection that keeps it from growing into something else?

Are we going to start seeing 18 year-olds locked up forever because they had sex with a girl a few months younger than them? It sounds silly, but we already routinely label this a "sex offense". Will taking a drunken piss in an alley set you up for decades in prison? Again, common sense says that's ridiculous but again, it can already get you labeled as a sex offender.

Until we figure out a way to legislate in a way that applies some degree of common sense, this sort of thing just can't be allowed.

more than 4 years ago

Stock Market Sell-Off Might Stem From Trader's Fat Finger

Skyshadow Re:SELL! (643 comments)

Yes, why should anyone be concerned that their ability to afford food and heat in their declining years is dependent on the long-term stability of a system that can be radically damaged by a single mistyped letter?

I guess we're all just lucky this guy hit "b" and not "z".

more than 4 years ago

Stock Market Sell-Off Might Stem From Trader's Fat Finger

Skyshadow SELL! (643 comments)

I suspect that I speak for everyone with their retirement money and/or savings invested in the markets when I say: HO-LY SHIT.

Frankly, I was more comfortable with the concept that the DOW could drop 1000 points in one afternoon due to some obscure overseas debt concerns than I am the idea that the DOW can drop 1000 points in one afternoon because of a fucking typo. I realize that markets and the economy in general are collective illusions to begin with and all that, but do we really need to be reminded quite so forcefully?

Might be time to invest my money in something a little more solid, like canned food and ammunition.

more than 4 years ago

US Air Force Launches Secret Flying Twinkie

Skyshadow Speculation in the article (234 comments)

So the article speculates that this is a testbed for on-orbit threat detection systems, which given the number of countries getting into the space gig seems like a reasonable thing to be working on.

So here's why bit I don't get: Why build it into a space plane rather than a regular satellite? Seems to me that you're adding an order of magnitude to the complexity of the mission -- do they really need the sensors back that badly, or is this maybe for something else?

more than 4 years ago



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