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Review: Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Smidge207 Re:Homocentricity (239 comments)

. Why must it always be mankind that is responsible, even for the rise of the apes?

Ummm.....humans are part of the Great Ape family; sorry to break it to you.

more than 3 years ago
top

Lawsuit Claims LegalZoom Is Practicing Law Without a License

Smidge207 Re:What's a bus full of lawyers going off a cliff? (246 comments)

Q: Whadda call a lawyer giving good head?

A: A choking brief.

Q: If a lawyer and a priest are in a sinking canoe, what can be done?

A: Sodomize the priest and hire the lawyer.

Q: If a lawyer were speaking in front of Congress, how would you stop him?

A: Tell him his Bentley is full of drowning school kids.

Q; What's the best thing your can do with a lawyer?

A: Get him some hookers and blow. Then blow his fucking head off. Then bill him.

Thank you! I'll be here all night! Tip your server!

more than 2 years ago
top

Apple WWDC: iOS 5, Lion, iCloud

Smidge207 Re:In other words... (662 comments)

I read a lot of old school X-Men comic books growing up, and while there were plenty of inconsistencies both when measured against the X-Men canon and even internally, I found that the overall excellent writing and clever use of mutant powers won me over. This movie was a lot more subtle than its predecessors, from the 60's touches to the stronger focus on the characters, and I appreciated that...not!

They made some weird choices for characters. I don't know if Jesus even has a precedent (probably not, given his character's treatment), but who was the guy who blew the tornadoes? George Bush? Louis Theroux was also an odd choice. He doesn't really belong in the Hellfire club, from what I can tell, though he does set up Nightcrawler fairly well.

And...what the HELL happened to all of that energy Shaw sucked out of the submarine? I felt his powers were somewhat poorly defined to begin with, but when you suck a nuclear submarine's batteries dry, doesn't that energy go *somewhere*? Even up your ass?

I suppose it could be explained away in one way or another...like a fart....but it would have made a lot more sense if there were an explosion or some other kind of awesome manifestation of the power he ate (like a magic mushroom).

more than 3 years ago
top

National Academies Release Over 4,000 Free Science Books

Smidge207 Re:Not exactly "free". (119 comments)

Rob Malda is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Rob: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.
Read the 201 comments
Comment: I was gay in high-school and was castrated... (Score -1)
by Smidge207 on Wednesday May 11, @12:19PM (#36096054) Attached to: Do Geeks Make Better Adults?

Michael Malak ( is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Mike: Sure. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.
Read the 335 comments
Comment: Re:This is just stupid (Score -1)
by Smidge207 on Saturday May 07, @03:04PM (#36058234) Attached to: Doctors Are Creating Too Many Patients

Yeah.

I was sued in federal court for posting the photo of a man who had sued me for defamation. He sued me because I was causing negative publicity, but my statements were true/opinion and protected speech. I defended myself and prevailed.

I have also licensed photos I've taken of people for commercial use in advertisements. The law is not clear in all jurisdictions on the duty to obtain permission (CA and NY have statutes, some other states don't have a single case dealing with the issue). Also, permission is the duty of the publisher of an advertisement, not the photographer.

I photographed a parade many years ago, then a customer wanted to license a marching band photo for billboard use. The client correctly wanted a model release for a recognizable band member. I tracked down the school, then the student, got a release and paid the student. There would have been no way to get hundreds of releases when the parade occurred (and paid each person).

I just licensed a photo of an elementary school student for advertising use. I offered to get a model release, but the client was not interested. I am trying to locate the student anyway to pay her a modeling fee. The student is overseas in a developing country. I took the photo six years ago, but I know her first name, volunteered at her school, and donated a construction project. I can say from experience she will probably be happy the photo was used in this ad, and be thrilled to get paid. If I cancelled the deal out of concern she might object, she would probably be very disappointed and confused.

The above does not apply to "sensitive subjects" that the average person might be expected to object to being associated with (subjects like illness, teen pregnancy, abortion, smoking, criminal activity, etc).

As a footnote, my photo (when I was a child) was often used in advertisements. One had me appearing as a criminal. I was paid and liked seeing the ads.

That's my experience with this issue.

more than 3 years ago
top

Why We Have So Much "Duh" Science

Smidge207 Re:"Duh" Studies (299 comments)

Getting a college degree, regardless of the major, requires discipline, persistence, and dedication. Now, it may be that there are many people out there who "didn't leran anything" from college. But if you managed to get a reasonable GPA (3.0 or higher), then you probably learned something, and you actually had to take the time to study for your classes. When I interview someone who has a good GPA, this is evidence (although not proof) to me that they can be given work to do, and they will understand it and get it done. Someone without a college degree lacks that evidence. They MAY have that kind of discipline, but I can't guess that very well from a short interview. (An alternative might be good references from past employers.)

Some claim that it is theoretically possible to do well in classes and then promptly forget everything you crammed. But that's disingenuous and discounts the effects of (a) subconscious learning, and (b) meta-learning. Even if you can't recall things you learned at will, you are often able to recall them in context. You forgot that you learned something. And meta-learning is more of a mind-shaping thing, where spending the time to learn some new subject matter forces you to think about things in an unfamiliar way. Even if you forget all the facts, it creates a broader view that makes you more adaptable. (This is why I prefer interviewees who had diverse minors.)

After 9 years in industry, I decided to get a Ph.D. in Computer Science. I found the advanced core courses in the grad program to be challenging, but they were not a fundamentally new way of thinking. On the other hand, there were the grad courses I took in linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive engineering. Each of those fields has a culture quite different from what I am used to in CS, and taking those courses introduced me to very different perspectives on things. In order to do well in those courses (I did get all A's), I had to learn to think like them. The CS courses made me feel like I had learned some things I didn't know before. The courses in other disciplines made me feel like I had grown intellectually.

As a side note, those aforementioned areas seem to attract more women. Indeed, psychology, at least in grad school, is _dominated_ by women. Now, I'm happily married, so I had no interest in finding anyone to date. But for someone else, this might be something to look into. For me, what I enjoyed was encountering yet another perspective. For various reasons (cultural, genetic, hormonal, etc.), men and women seem to have different perspectives on many things. And in grad school, most of the students are very smart. So taking psych courses had me interacting with women who not only have a different perspective but also have the IQ and meta-cognitiion to be able to convey that perspective well to others. (Some of the differences are due to the different field, while some seemed to be clearly due to gender.) So, I enjoyed very much the things I could learn from them, especially those things that they understood better than the males in their field. On a similar note, I also enjoyed working with women in engineering. The diversity they bring includes not just different approaches to engineering, but also a "softer feel" they bring to the workplace, like how they decorate their offices and interact with others. I would probably feel less of a need to focus on this if there weren't so few women in computer science and engineering.

more than 3 years ago
top

35 Million Google Profiles Collected

Smidge207 Re:Welcome to the Post Privacy Age (151 comments)

Getting a college degree, regardless of the major, requires discipline, persistence, and dedication. Now, it may be that there are many people out there who "didn't leran anything" from college. But if you managed to get a reasonable GPA (3.0 or higher), then you probably learned something, and you actually had to take the time to study for your classes. When I interview someone who has a good GPA, this is evidence (although not proof) to me that they can be given work to do, and they will understand it and get it done. Someone without a college degree lacks that evidence. They MAY have that kind of discipline, but I can't guess that very well from a short interview. (An alternative might be good references from past employers.)

Some claim that it is theoretically possible to do well in classes and then promptly forget everything you crammed. But that's disingenuous and discounts the effects of (a) subconscious learning, and (b) meta-learning. Even if you can't recall things you learned at will, you are often able to recall them in context. You forgot that you learned something. And meta-learning is more of a mind-shaping thing, where spending the time to learn some new subject matter forces you to think about things in an unfamiliar way. Even if you forget all the facts, it creates a broader view that makes you more adaptable. (This is why I prefer interviewees who had diverse minors.)

After 9 years in industry, I decided to get a Ph.D. in Computer Science. I found the advanced core courses in the grad program to be challenging, but they were not a fundamentally new way of thinking. On the other hand, there were the grad courses I took in linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive engineering. Each of those fields has a culture quite different from what I am used to in CS, and taking those courses introduced me to very different perspectives on things. In order to do well in those courses (I did get all A's), I had to learn to think like them. The CS courses made me feel like I had learned some things I didn't know before. The courses in other disciplines made me feel like I had grown intellectually.

As a side note, those aforementioned areas seem to attract more women. Indeed, psychology, at least in grad school, is _dominated_ by women. Now, I'm happily married, so I had no interest in finding anyone to date. But for someone else, this might be something to look into. For me, what I enjoyed was encountering yet another perspective. For various reasons (cultural, genetic, hormonal, etc.), men and women seem to have different perspectives on many things. And in grad school, most of the students are very smart. So taking psych courses had me interacting with women who not only have a different perspective but also have the IQ and meta-cognitiion to be able to convey that perspective well to others. (Some of the differences are due to the different field, while some seemed to be clearly due to gender.) So, I enjoyed very much the things I could learn from them, especially those things that they understood better than the males in their field. On a similar note, I also enjoyed working with women in engineering. The diversity they bring includes not just different approaches to engineering, but also a "softer feel" they bring to the workplace, like how they decorate their offices and interact with others. I would probably feel less of a need to focus on this if there weren't so few women in computer science and engineering.

more than 3 years ago
top

PayPal Co-Founder Gives Out $100,000 To Not Go To College

Smidge207 Re:A college degree indicates discipline & div (418 comments)

I found the advanced core courses in the grad program to be challenging, but they were not a fundamentally new way of thinking. On the other hand, there were the grad courses I took in linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive engineering.

*sigh* The thing you need to realize is that it's not about needing anything: linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, and cognitive engineering (social engineering is what you meant to type but your fingers are too old.)

This is no different from taking an Emacs user and forcing them to use vim or pico. They're used to working in a certain way, and changing that on them is a huge distraction, because now they have to think about the environment instead of the engineering problem. Maybe after a while, they'd get used to a change, but they came to rely on something (a particular editor, OS, office chair, or monitor arrangement) probably because it helped them function more effectively. Thus, if you change it, it's not just a distraction, but it's also an impedement to their workflow.

Some people write huge amounts of code and then only compile occasionally. They'll do well with a slower computer. Then there are developers that recompile every five seconds, because they like to tweak and compile and tweak and compile. They actually NEED a much faster computer, because their productivity is siginificantly affected by compile time. (Amdahl's law for coders!) Rather than force everyone into a cookie-cutter way of doing things, employers should adapt to what makes their employees most efficient.

Why so stingy that you can't give this guy a second monitor? Is it that or lay people off? Why are you fucking around in his office in the first place? Yes, the company owns the office, but people need a place to get comfortable, where things are familiar. IMHO, entering into someone else's workspace without permission is incredibly rude. If you're in there, you better be dropping off a package and don't even think about moving anything around.

It's like when you have 100 tabs open in your web browser, and, besides slashdot, they're all relevant to your work, and they took a lot of googling to find. However, they're relevance is transient, so you didn't bother to bookmark them. You're a homosexual. Then while you're out at lunch, the sysadmin decides to update some software on your computer, and when you come back, your windows are closed and your history is cleared, and you have to waste hours finding all this crap again. And your ass is enlarged. I guess it should come as no surprise to me that managers fail to empathize with their employees or recognize that everyone prefers to operate in different ways.

more than 3 years ago
top

Major Release of Miro Aims to Compete With iTunes

Smidge207 "You know you want to." YES....I do: (201 comments)

Rob Malda is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Rob: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

more than 3 years ago
top

Do Geeks Make Better Adults?

Smidge207 I was gay in high-school and was castrated... (335 comments)

Michael Malak ( is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Mike: Sure. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

more than 3 years ago
top

Doctors Are Creating Too Many Patients

Smidge207 Re:This is just stupid (566 comments)

Yeah.

I was sued in federal court for posting the photo of a man who had sued me for defamation. He sued me because I was causing negative publicity, but my statements were true/opinion and protected speech. I defended myself and prevailed.

I have also licensed photos I've taken of people for commercial use in advertisements. The law is not clear in all jurisdictions on the duty to obtain permission (CA and NY have statutes, some other states don't have a single case dealing with the issue). Also, permission is the duty of the publisher of an advertisement, not the photographer.

I photographed a parade many years ago, then a customer wanted to license a marching band photo for billboard use. The client correctly wanted a model release for a recognizable band member. I tracked down the school, then the student, got a release and paid the student. There would have been no way to get hundreds of releases when the parade occurred (and paid each person).

I just licensed a photo of an elementary school student for advertising use. I offered to get a model release, but the client was not interested. I am trying to locate the student anyway to pay her a modeling fee. The student is overseas in a developing country. I took the photo six years ago, but I know her first name, volunteered at her school, and donated a construction project. I can say from experience she will probably be happy the photo was used in this ad, and be thrilled to get paid. If I cancelled the deal out of concern she might object, she would probably be very disappointed and confused.

The above does not apply to "sensitive subjects" that the average person might be expected to object to being associated with (subjects like illness, teen pregnancy, abortion, smoking, criminal activity, etc).

As a footnote, my photo (when I was a child) was often used in advertisements. One had me appearing as a criminal. I was paid and liked seeing the ads.

That's my experience with this issue.

more than 3 years ago
top

Doctors Are Creating Too Many Patients

Smidge207 Re:Symptomatic (566 comments)

I remember reading somewhere that 85% of all illnesses cure themselves spontaneously. This is why snake oil salesmen, acupuncture, homeopathy, and whatever else you care to name has such a tremendous "success" rate. People swear by it. Why? Because it's true - it "works". 85% of the time, anyway.

We doctors are there for the other 15%, which will lead to loss of life or limb if left untreated. Now because I believe in freedom, I think you are perfectly free to decide for yourself which of the above categories your illness lies in: the 85 or the 15. However it will take you about 10,000 hours of study to be able to tell the difference with any degree of certainty. Or you could pay a doctor $50 or whatever it is he charges, and have an answer in 10 minutes. It's called "specialization", the key to any civilized society.

I used to think that medicine was just about learning lists. Lists of symptoms, and matching those with lists of diseases, and then picking medications from a list of medication to treat that disease. That's not how it works at all. The untutored person is incapable of making a correct diagnosis because 1) he doesn't know what to look for and 2) he has not seen enough sick people. Medicine is not learned from a textbook. It's learned at the patient's bedside. And I have seen thousands upon thousands of patients, from perfectly healthy people who think they are sick, to the dying, and even the dead being brought back to life. That's what lets me tell, usually within 10 seconds of someone walking into my office, exactly what is wrong with them. All my questions and all my tests are just there to confirm my diagnosis. The best an algorithm will be able to do is give you a list of possible causes. Then you would be stuck with floundering around ordering tests to pick something from that list. That may be how it works in TV shows, but that's not how it works in real life. Those tests cost money and time, and sometimes the patient has neither.

more than 3 years ago
top

Verizon Plans Location Warning Sticker

Smidge207 CentiPad? (79 comments)

Read the click-through EULA? Your lips can be sewn to another's anus?

more than 3 years ago
top

Involuntary Geolocation To Within One Kilometer

Smidge207 Involuntary Nullification (207 comments)

Rob Malda is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Rob: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

more than 3 years ago
top

Is Science Just a Matter of Faith?

Smidge207 Re:EASY!!!! Science *CAN* produce miracles! (1486 comments)

Science == miracles on demand. *SHOW ME* anything else so worthy of my faith. SERIOUSLY.

Hey, I just healed an amputee; I used a prosthetic limb. And, yes, I prayed that fucker into existence.

more than 3 years ago
top

New Quantum Record: 14 Entangled Bits

Smidge207 Nullo bits? (101 comments)

Rob Malda is a 26-year old white male with a stocky build and a beard. His head is shaved. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that our readers will know that this isn't a fake.

Rob: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Michael before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Michael's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Michael is a few years older than me and very good looking. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Michael for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Michael fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Michael worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Michael enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Michael's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Michael. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my head shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Michael had a friend who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Michael told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Michael. I'd rather lose my balls.

Michael's friend restrained me on the living room floor while Michael videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Michael just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Michael and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Michael's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Michael that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Michael react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Michael's friend told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Michael's friend said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Michael put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Michael was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Michael. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Michael said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Michael answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Michael's friend, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Michael's friend snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Michael doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Michael brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Michael was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Michael fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Michael plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Michael says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Michael had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Michael and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

more than 3 years ago
top

Regional Broadcast Using an Atmospheric Link Layer

Smidge207 Re:I love 4/1 on Slashdot (41 comments)

I am so glad my "inner voice" stopped me from entering my debit card info to join /.. I went as far as filling out the questionnaire, uploading a couple of photos and completing my profile. I chose "anywhere in the world" as my region of choice and lo and behold, I had only 7 matches. Yep, you read that right. 7 matches in the entire world.

I am a sociopath, troll, insane, and otherwise undesirable. The only thing I could think of that limited my matches was that I checked "not religious and not spiritual". I didn't even say that my match had to be the same. I answered the question honestly which is what I thought I was supposed to do. I had heard a few rumors in the past that EH is largely based on religion. Factor in some of the posts on this website talking about getting 100's of matches vs. my 7, I believe those rumors to be true.

I was really excited about /. before all of this, but now I'm just thrilled to have been wise enough to end it before any money was exchanged. Hundred of dollars for 7 matches? I think not. Hip hip hooray to my inner voice!

more than 3 years ago
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Regional Broadcast Using an Atmospheric Link Layer

Smidge207 April Fool's from Mike Sims! (41 comments)

Few today haven't felt the touch of censorship that is Michael Sims's modus operandi. Anything labelled subversive by this fascist editor is immediately moderated to -1 and its poster's account subjected to all sorts of terrible modifications meant to make it impossible to reveal the truth about Michael Sims. Truth that I, in this exposé, will reveal to you.

Having killed his mother in childbirth, Michael was left with only his father to raise him, a man with well-documented social disorders and sick sexual fetishes.

During his youth, Michael Sr. was known by the nickname “Mikey the Twink,” a reference to his thin, hairless body, and chest that was smaller than his waist, like a young boy's. The crowd Mikey the Twink ran with was more than just a little questionable. How many times would you have been allowed to arrive home at midnight with your clothes torn and semen leaking out of your bruised mouth? Well, this was San Francisco, and evidently Michael Sr. got away with this behavior while he was growing up gay on the mean streets of the Faggot Sex Capitol of the world.

Fast-forward to middle age, and this homosexual cock-lusting faggot is left with a son to rear. No wonder the Michael Sims we all know is so angry and apt to censor!

By the age of 13, Michael Sims had endured years of sexual abuse at the hands of his father and other relatives: let's be frank about this!

Michael was forced to suck his father's erect penis while his “Aunt” Jack would penetrate Michael's anus with his 5" thick throbbing meatpole. All while “Father” O'Reilly (yes, the same publisher Tim O'Reilly of Open Source fame) videotaped the gay orgies with a tripod as he sodomized young Michael's penis with his hot tongue or made Michael eat his hairy Irish asshole out!!!

Occasionally a ruddy streetman named Eric would join in the festivities and rub his crooked dick on Michael's smooth face and cover the lad in cumshot as he dribbled Jägermeister all over himself, singing the praises of Open Sauce and being surprised by cock.

Too many years of cum-baths and anal sex had gotten to Michael. In the wee hours of April 19, 1993, at the tender age of 16, Michael Sims secretly boarded a plane to Germany to join the Hitler Youth, hoping to escape the the excess sodomy in his life while gaining some discipline in the process. Little did Michael know that he was going from the frying pan and into the flames.

Upon entering the Hitler Youth, Michael smiled for the first time in his cock-filled life. He was surrounded by boys of all ages, and his cock-lust — cultivated by years of faggotry at his father's hand — blossomed in the harsh environment of the Hitler Youth. Michael progressed rapidly through the ranks until one day, he was called upon to serve in the elite SS. And then the bottom of Michael's world fell out.

Michael was greeted not by Adolf Hitler (long dead by now) or any other Nazi. Michael Sims was instead greeted by a homosexual face from the past: the insidious, ruddy complexion of ESR, the streetman named Eric that had fornicated him years ago! Yes, ESR was the dastardly Deutsch Gas Baron, and the Hitler Youth was nothing but a faggot recruiting front to satiate the twink-lust of ESR!

For the next six years, Michael Sims was almost constantly involved in some sort of homosexual activity, either sampling the famous gay bars of München, training recruits new to Raymond's Youth Corps (the facade of Hitler having since been dropped), or satisfying ESR's bottomless hunger for gay faggot cum-lusting sex. Michael was even one of the first Germans to contract HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

ESR's stake in Michael increased, as did Michael's lust for ESR's thin erect cock, until finally Michael had been made a general in ESR's diabolic Gas Barony. And it was at this time that Michael was given his very own life-long mission.

ESR needed someone that could take the literary world in their faggot hand and turn it to use for ESR and his worldwide Petroleum Fiefdom: propaganda for Crude Oil and Faggotry! Who better than Michael?

His first objective was to find a platform with which to gather mainstream literary credibility. Enter Censorware.org, which Michael infiltrated and later destroyed. Read the story of censorship, terrorism and ransom here. And do not forget it.

With Censorware destroyed, Michael's name got out into the Nazi and Faggot literary scenes, leading to the day that he received a phone call from none other than Rob Malda, of Slashdot.org, whose staff were the most desperate of homosexuals and whose editors were most Nazi-like in nature. Rob Malda was offering Michael Sims a job.

Michael had finally found his home and means of completing his homosexual mission. To this day he enjoys gay anal sex all day and all night, and a way to censor the truth-bringers, like me, on a whim.

more than 3 years ago
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A Late Adopter's Guide To USB 3.0

Smidge207 Re:Old School? (185 comments)

Leonard Nimoy turned 80. You fucking idiot.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Work Unhappy or Move On?

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes ""I grew up around in the suburbs of NY and went to college in a relatively different area (upstate NY). After graduating last year, I took a job in the area where I went to college. I started in July, and was given a relocation package contingent on me staying for a year. Since August, I haven't been happy with the area I have been living in and have actively been pursuing employment back in the city. What am I better off doing: Is it better to be miserable with money, work experience, and health insurance; or going home and being happy, but unemployed? In December, the program I was working on got canceled and my manager didn't want to commit me to something long-term, with the knowledge that I didn't plan on staying more than six months. He made me a time-based offer (probably expiring soon) that he'd take every effort to get the relocation payback waived if I were to resign, find an internal transfer, or another job. I had a couple of interviews a month ago, but nothing else has happened, and this uncertainty (with the pressure of having to make this decision) has made the last two weeks really hellish.""
top

Work Unhappy or Move On?

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "I grew up around a big city (suburbs of NY) and went to college in a relatively different area (upstate NY). After graduating last year (BSc), I took a job in the area where I went to college. I started in July, and was given a relocation package contingent on me staying for a year. Since August, I haven't been happy with the area I have been living in and have actively been pursuing employment back in the city. What am I better off doing: Is it better to be miserable with money, work experience, and health insurance; or going home and being happy, but unemployed? In December, the program I was working on got canceled and my manager didn't want to commit me to something long-term, with the knowledge that I didn't plan on staying more than six months. He made me a time-based offer (probably expiring soon) that he'd take every effort to get the relocation payback waived if I were to resign, find an internal transfer, or another job. I had a couple of interviews a month ago, but nothing else has happened, and this uncertainty (with the pressure of having to make this decision) has made the last two weeks really hellish."
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Should I Try Computer Science or Info Systems?

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "I am currently completing my final year of secondary schooling, and in the next few weeks I need to submit my university (or college to all you Americans) preferences for processing. I've decided that I want a career in the IT industry, but am unsure of whether to apply for a Computer Science course or an Information Technology course. I understand the difference between the two courses (CS being the study of the principles and concepts involved in Computing at a more fundamental, and often more sophisticated level, and IT being a more practical, application based approach to computing), but would like to know from anybody who has studied either or both of the courses what kinds of careers each course would lead into and what would you recommend for someone such as myself, having a broad range of interests and wishing to dabble in everything before deciding where to specialize?"
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Turning 39 With a Computer Science Degree

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "I worked my 20s in menial labour type jobs and now I am about to earn a bachelor's degree in computer science. The thing is, I'll be 39 when I get out of school this year and I've read on numerous sites that there seems to be some ageism going on in the IT industry when it comes to older geeks. What have some of the older Slashdot readers experienced as far as being replaced or just plain not getting hired because IT is a young man's game? What are my odds of being successful in today's IT job market? I hear there's lots of jobs out there; how do I get my foot in the door?"
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Scientists warn of Twitter dangers

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "New findings show that the streams of information provided by social networking sites are too fast for the brain's "moral compass" to process and could harm young people's emotional development. Before the brain can fully digest the anguish and suffering of a story, it is being bombarded by the next news bulletin or the latest Twitter update, according to a University of Southern California study. "If things are happening too fast, you may not ever fully experience emotions about other people's psychological states and that would have implications for your morality," said researcher Mary Helen Immordino-Yang. Brain scans showed humans can process and respond very quickly to signs of physical pain in others, but took longer to show admiration of compassion. "For some kinds of thought, especially moral decision-making about other people's social and psychological situations, we need to allow for adequate time and refection," said Immordio-Yang. She said the study raises questions about the emotional cost, particularly for young people, of heavy reliance on a torrent of news snippets delivered via TV and online feeds such as Twitter. She said: "We need to understand how social experience shapes interactions between the body and mind, to produce citizens with a strong moral compass." USC sociologist Manuel Castells said the study raised more concerns over fast-moving TV than the online environment. "In a media culture in which violence and suffering becomes an endless show, be it in fiction or in infotainment, indifference to the vision of human suffering gradually sets in." Research leader Antonio Damasio, director of USC's Brain and Creativity Institute, said the findings stressed the need for slower delivery of the news, and highlighted the importance of slow-burn emotions like admiration. Damasio cited the example of U.S. President Barack Obama, who says he was inspired by his father, to show how admiration can be key to cultural success. "We actually separate the good from the bad in great part thanks to the feeling of admiration. It's a deep physiological reaction that's very important to define our humanity." Twitter, which allows users to swap messages and links of 140-characters or less, says on its Web site that it sees itself as a solution to information overload, rather than a cause of it."
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New engine may double fuel efficiency

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "An Australian company, Revetec, has a new internal combustion engine design, the X4v2, which may double fuel efficiency. It is supposed to be "50% smaller, 50% lighter, has 50% lower emissions and is cheaper to manufacture" than a conventional engine with the same horsepower. It has four pistons in an X configuration pushing two counter rotating, multilobate cams. Though take this with a grain of salt and your mileage may vary :)"
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Can eDating sites be made statisically rigourous?

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "I want to make online dating better. Here's how: Suppose you're an entrepreneur who wants to break into the online personals business, but you face impossible odds because everybody wants to go where everybody else already is (basically, either Match.com or Yahoo Personals). Here is a suggestion that would give you an edge. In a nutshell: Each member lists the criteria for people that they are looking for. Then when people contact them, they choose whether or not to respond. After the system has been keeping track of who contacts you and who you respond to, the site lists your profile in other people's search results along with your criteria-specific response rate: "Lisa has responded to 56% of people who contacted her who meet her criteria.

I realize that every time I write something along the lines of "They should do it this way instead of the way they do it now", whether for search engines, spam filters, content rating systems or whatever, I leave some people shrugging and wondering why anyone should switch to my idea. So let me try something new: I want to prove mathematically that this change would result in some (in fact, most) of the participants being better off, while nobody would be worse off (what economists call a Pareto improvement). I am not necessarily saying that it would lead to a good outcome for everybody; basically, it will lead to better outcomes for most users (although some of those will still be bad outcomes), and will do so in a lot less time.

If as soon as you read the phrase "I can prove mathematically" you thought, "Oh well no wonder he gets such a low response rate if he talks like that all the time", then I humbly submit that (1) while I like my Slashdot persona of a pedant banging people over the head with what I think is a brilliant idea, I do have other programmable settings, like conversation about movies, and (2) for once, it's not just me. Sites like eDateReview.com list hundreds of reviews for the most popular sites like Yahoo, Match.com and eHarmony, all of which got an average rating of about 2 out of 5. Another site hosting reviews of online personals services, DatingSitesReviews.com, posted a message urging people to take the predominantly negative reviews with a grain of salt, since users with a bad experience are much more likely to post a review than users with a positive one, but that only generated comments from the site's users reiterating, "No, they really do suck." Most of the complaints from men are not just about the number of obviously fake profiles (which led to lawsuits against Yahoo and Match.com), but about the low response rate even from women who are ostensibly real.

Not that I blame the women. Having watched over the shoulder of some female friends scrolling through their Yahoo Personals inboxes, some of them get far too many messages to reply to (and even if they had time to reply, they'd only be leading on most of the correspondents, since there would never be enough time to actually meet all of them). Yahoo Personals formats your inbox so that you see each person's picture along with the first few words of what they wrote, so if you have too many messages, all you can really do is scroll through the pictures (yes, women do care about that). In fact, Yahoo has a feature that lets you see the users who have viewed your profile — which may have revealed more than Yahoo intended, since sometimes after writing to 20 or 30 people, I find out that none of them even clicked through to my profile anyway — so if you're a guy, take Yahoo's advice about "polishing your profile" with a grain of salt. (In fact, many users with Yahoo Personals profiles are not paid members, which means they cannot reply to the messages you send them except with boilerplate like "I liked your message", and Yahoo blocks you from sending them your e-mail address. So Yahoo is listing them as people that you can contact through their service, even though Yahoo knows those people won't be able to write you back. If this strikes you as something between bad site design and actionable fraud, then you are not a Yahoo employee.)

So, yes, there is a problem worth solving. For the purpose of describing the response-rate system, I'm going to dispense with political correctness and refer to the people sending the messages as the "men" and to the people receiving messages as the "women". I hear from the pilot episode of Sex and the City that after the "mid-thirties power flip", the odds shift the other way (due to women getting older and the men accumulating more money, although the show doesn't put it quite so bluntly), so if you're in that age bracket, substitute the appropriate genders in the discussion below.

Note that I when I talk about listing women's response rates, I am talking about their response rates to men who meet their criteria. If you only want to meet men aged 28 to 29 who are interested in paddleboating, then your displayed response rate is only affected by the percentage of messages that you respond to from men in that group.

The mathematical argument commences: If you're a man writing to women on a site, for every women there are two essential variables: the probability P that she will reply to you, and how much value V you would place on getting a reply from her (say, on a scale of 1 to 10). For any woman that you write to, if P = (probability of getting a reply) and V = (value of getting a reply), then then probabilistic benefit of writing to her is P x V. (And I swear I didn't notice this until after I'd written the article, but I do not want to hear anything juvenile about framing a discussion of men meeting women in terms of the "P" and the "V".) If you have non-standard tastes, such as a preference for "Big Beautiful Women", that's great, since the women that you consider to be 9s and 10s may also be the ones that you have the highest chance of getting a reply from, since fewer other men are writing to them, and P x V for those women will be — in a manner of speaking — huge. Unfortunately, if your tastes are fairly typical, then the women you consider to be 9s and 10s are also getting lots of messages from other men, and have the lowest probability of replying to you. So as V = (value of getting a reply) goes up, P = (probability of getting a reply) goes down, and the product doesn't vary as much as you would like. There's nothing that the response-rate system can do about that.

In any case, if you're allocating your time rationally, you would first write to the members where you estimate P x V to be the highest, and then write to the members where P x V was the next highest, and then based on the cost-benefit principle, you'd continue writing until P x V of writing to the next person is exceeded by the value of the time it would take you to do it. (The incremental value of each additional minute of your time is not constant — after a long time spent sending messages, you might get bored, and would require a larger incentive to spend an additional minute of your time doing it.) All of this is basically intuition and common sense, even if people don't think of it in terms of these equations (except me!).

But here's the advantage of the response-rating system: With a conventional personals site, you're only guessing the value of P x V — to be precise, you know the value of V (at least as well as anyone can possibly know it from reading someone's profile), but you're only estimating P, based on how many messages you think she's probably getting from other people. Because of that randomness, that means some of the time you are sending messages without the best possible P x V value, and probably some of the time you are even sending messages where P x V would not even be worth the effort of sending the message, if you knew how low P was. Whereas with a system that shows a woman's response rate to people who meet her criteria, if you're someone who meets her criteria, you know roughly the probability P of getting a reply. (Actually, the probability P for you of getting a response, might not be the percentage-response-rate displayed by the site — if you have an especially attractive or unattractive face, but there's no way for the woman to specify that in her criteria, then your chance of getting a reply might be higher or lower than the displayed percentage-response-rate. But, then you could just scale all of the displayed response rates upwards or downwards to gauge your probability P of getting a reply. It would still be better than making a total guess on a conventional personals site that didn't display percentage response rates at all.) So this is an unambiguous improvement from the point of view of the men. Another reason why men would be much better off is a specific case of this: they would avoid the time sink of writing to women who do not or cannot respond to most of the messages they're getting. With a response-rate system, those women's profiles would gradually display lower and lower response rates until the percentage was low enough to dissuade all but the most optimistic (or handsome) suitors. Without a display of the response rate, those users continue getting ridiculously large numbers of messages for as long as their profiles are active (as some of my female friends with profiles could attest).

Then consider from the women's point of view. Suppose you're a woman interested in meeting people who meet certain criteria, and you're sincerely interested in replying to at least a significant portion of people who fit those criteria. The problem is that of the men who meet those requirements, some of their attention is still going to be siphoned off by them writing to other women who only have a low chance of responding. Even if you have very specific criteria, so the men who meet your criteria have a great chance of getting a reply from you, on a conventional personals site they might not realize that. But if your response rate were displayed by your profile, then when men searched for women whose criteria they met (and who met their own criteria as well), you would be listed as one of the people with the highest chance of replying, and you'd have a greater chance of hearing from men who met your requirements. (This is not a huge benefit for women, because most women get enough messages that there will usually be some who meet their criteria anyway. The response-rate system would mainly be beneficial to men; I'm just saying it would not be worse for women and would in fact be a little better for some of them.)

Now there's one group of people who would not be better off: Women who create accounts mainly for the ego boost of getting huge numbers of messages and not replying to them. I talked with a few women who used the personals sites for this purpose; some I knew in person, some of them I talked to back when Yahoo Personals would display a woman's Yahoo Messenger screen name, and if you sent them an instant message they would sometimes reply out of sheer boredom and admit that that was what they were doing. These people would not be better off in a system that displayed response rates, since after their response rates dwindled low enough, so would the number of messages. So this would not be a true Pareto improvement, since the definition of a Pareto improvements insists on nobody being worse off, and doesn't make judgments as to people's reasons. Fine, but I submit that people who use the personals sites for the ego boost of ignoring messages are going against the site's purpose, and any improvement that pisses them off but improves things for everybody else, is still a good thing.

You might worry that the ego-trippers would continue to game the system by writing trivially short replies to all the messages they got, in order to keep their "response rate" high and keep the messages coming. I'm not sure, but I don't think that would be very common, because my impression from talking to the girls who do this is that the whole point of the ego boost is that the messages keep coming in without them having to do anything. If they had to exert themselves at all — even long enough to reply to each message and say "yeah" — then it wouldn't feel as much fun. Probably some would do this anyway. But of the men who kept getting responses like "yeah" and "I dunno", hopefully they would get the message quickly and stop wasting time. I could be wrong about some of these things, but my point is that it would not be any worse than the old system, where so many users already waste time writing to people who don't write back, and the new system would probably be better since it would eliminate some of the time-wasters.

There are some design decisions that I didn't specify here — for example, do you display each user's response rate over their entire history on the site, or just over the last 24-72 hours, or both? A trickier question: Do you display the user's criteria that they have entered to specify what they're looking for, and which are used when the site calculates their response rate to all users who "meet their criteria"? Most sites do of course let users list what they are looking for. But suppose a woman is only interested in meeting men who make more than $75,000 per year, but she thinks it would be crass to list that on her profile. On the other hand, if she doesn't list it as a requirement, then her percentage response rate will be dragged down by all the men writing to her who make less than $75,000 but who she's not interested in replying to. One alternative would be that she could still have one set of public criteria displayed on her profile, and one set of "secret" criteria that included the $75,000 cutoff. Then men who made $75,000 or more would be steered toward her profile with the message, "You meet her criteria, and she responds to 50% of men who meet her requirements!" But you'd have the ticklish business of men who somehow find her profile, and meet all of her public criteria, but can't figure out why the system is telling them that they weren't a match for her — and they contact the service to ask why, and tech support has to tactfully explain that sometimes you don't meet all of someone's secret requirements. In any case, a man would be able to reverse-engineer a woman's "secret" requirements by varying his own characteristics on his profile until the system said, "Ding! You're a match for her!" (But then what are you going to do, send her a message calling her a gold digger? Go ahead, it doesn't affect her percentage response rate anyway.)

In concluding that "everyone" would be better off under this system, I did make the type of assumptions that are common in mathematical/economic models, such as assuming that all participants are cold rationalists maximizing benefit to themselves. Such assumptions often do model human behavior pretty well, even in romantic pairings — it explains why 10's usually end up with 10's, 9's usually end up with 9's, and so on. But these axioms may not take seemingly "irrational" preferences into account. For example, I've assumed that if it would be a waste of time for a user to write to 10 women who are not going to write back, then the new system is an improvement if it dissuades him from ever writing to those 10 women in the first place, because the end result is the same (nothing) and you've saved them the effort. But on a conventional personals site, after someone has written to 10 people and before they realize they're not getting any responses, they still have the hope that they might get answers, and that can be a good feeling. They'll be disappointed later on once they realize they're not getting any responses, but if they have a personality that is especially receptive to hope and especially resistant to disappointment, then it could average out to a better overall experience under the old system. Well, the old-style Match.com and Yahoo Personals would still be around for people who prefer to dream. I'm just saying the new-style system would better suit people looking for results.

The real problem with starting a competing personals site around this system (apart from pulling in enough users to reach "critical mass", but assume you had an ad campaign to do that), is that even if your system produced better matches for everybody in the long run, Yahoo Personals and Match.com would still be better at luring people in with the hope of getting a fabulous match-up. Even if Yahoo Personals got rid of all the fake profiles, and even if they gave anyone listed as a "member" a way to reply to people who send them messages (which among other things would bring them in line with laws against false advertising), their gallery would still be glittering with all the profiles of people who are getting too much mail to possibly reply to it all — but as a new user, you wouldn't know that. On the other hand, with a personals site that listed criteria-specific response rates next to each profile, if you didn't have a good chance of getting a response from the most popular users, you'd know that from the beginning. You could then come back down to Earth and focus on the users whose criteria you met and who responded to most of their mail. But the site wouldn't be able to use its superstars to lure people in and string them along like Yahoo and Match.com can do.

So, to the business that launches a personals site around this system, this is what I'd propose to do: Since your system really does work better, contact a bunch of single reporters (I mean, higher up than me) and tell them to sign up for an account with Yahoo Personals, an account with Match.com, and an account with your new response-rating site, and spend twenty minutes on each site writing to users that they're interested in meeting. Or sponsor a controlled study where dozens of users try the same thing. Your site will be the only one where the participants can find and write to the members with the highest response rate for people meeting their criteria, and if the system really does result in more efficient matches, then the reporters and the study organizers ought to be able to verify that. Then you have your new ad campaign!

It's easy to list all the problems that would occur in this system: People could lie on their profiles, you can't always judge someone from a profile even if they're honest, people could waste your time starting a conversation and then bailing on you, just because people meet through the site doesn't mean they'll be a good match in person, etc. But these are problems with any personals site. This system only addresses the specific problem of efficiency; I haven't come up with an algorithmic solution to all of the problems of dating and love."
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Online vs. Traditional Degrees?

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "As a computer science student, avid internet user and full-time programmer I find it very appealing to finish my CS degree online. Finishing at least a year early and studying whenever I want are just a couple of the draws to the online campus. However, are these internet degrees even worth the paper their printed on? Is an online degree just a waste of money? Can an online degree give you just as many opportunities as a traditional university? Has anyone in the Slashdot community graduated from one of these online schools? Did it help or hurt your career? What about graduate school admissions? Does an online degree hurt your chances to get into a great graduate school?"
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Best USB thumb drive for keychain

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "After having to replace my 8th USB thumbdrive I have had attached to my key chain in 2 years because of failures I was starting to wonder,What have other slashdotters found as their best choice in a USB thumb drive? I love having one on my key chain, but 95% of these things have a port cover that gets lost in the first 10 minutes, have a really bad design for attaching to the key chain so you lose the drive completely, or are incredibly bad quality, my last designer leather on with leather cover strap comes to mind. What do you use for your always with you most important usb thumb drive? What is the most durable that will take getting dropped in a puddle or survive living on a key chain?""
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Best Free Games for a PC?

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "I am giving several new PCs to a local charity that will be giving them to needy kids this month. They are not powerful, basically baseline Dells that have intel graphics and Celeron, but more than enough to do homework and other studies on. They are going out with XP on them, and a Ubuntu CD as well as a bunch of OSS software like OO and the others. I would like to include some games for the kids. Strategy, fun, etc. Freeware games that are fun to play. Anyone have a list of the best games that a 13-16 year old will like to play that are free and legal to give away?"
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Is Open Source Software Insecure?

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "Lately there has been a HUGE push by Certified Microsoft Professionals and their companies to call clients and warn them of the dangers of open source. This week I received calls from 4 different customers that they were warned that they are dangerously insecure because they run Open Source Operating systems or Software because "anyone can read the code and hack you with ease" they are being told. Other colleagues in the area also have noticed this about 3 Microsoft Partners or so they claim have been going out of their way to strike fear of OSS in companies that respond with "yes we use Open source or Linux" when the sales call comes in. I know this is simply a sales tactic by these companies that will remain nameless, but how do I fix the damage caused by these sales tactics? I have several customers that now want more than my word about the security of the systems that have worked for them flawlessly for over 5-6 years now with minimal expense outside of upgrades and patching for security. Does anyone have a good plan or sources of reliable information that can be used to inform the customer?"
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Work Unhappy or Move On?

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Smidge207 (1278042) writes "I grew up around a big city (suburbs of NY) and went to college in a relatively different area (upstate NY). After graduating last May, I took a job in the area where I went to college. I started in July, and was given a relocation package contingent on me staying for a year. Since August, I haven't been happy with the area I have been living in and have actively been pursuing employment back in the city. What am I better off doing: Is it better to be miserable with money, work experience, and health insurance; or going home and being happy, but unemployed? In December, the program I was working on got canceled and my manager didn't want to commit me to something long-term, with the knowledge that I didn't plan on staying more than six months. He made me a time-based offer (probably expiring soon) that he'd take every effort to get the relocation payback waived if I were to resign, find an internal transfer, or another job. I had a couple of interviews a month ago, but nothing else has happened, and this uncertainty (with the pressure of having to make this decision) has made the last two weeks really hellish."

Journals

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Stupid Mac::Glue Tricks

Smidge207 Smidge207 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I keep all my music in lossless format (unless acquired compressed, such as through iTunes Music Store), so I am guaranteed it will sound perfect on my home systems, and so if I ever want to re-encode, I have the originals: no need to re-rip.

I have a pair of Perl scripts that convert those lossless files to 128 kbps AAC for use on the iPods. The first script will mount the drive of the iPod computer over the network, and compress any lossless file (using Mac::Glue/iTunes) that does not exist on the remote drive, or if it does exist, if it was last modified since the modification date of the lossless file. It will also straight copy any non-lossless file, and then write out text file representations of my playlists.

On the remote computer, the original computer's drive is mounted, and the first thing it does is look to make sure that every file in its directories exists on the original drive. If not, it deletes the file. Then it goes through iTunes (again, with Mac::Glue) and removes any library tracks whose file is missing from the filesystem. Then it adds any files from the filesystem missing in the library, and finally, recreates the playlists.

So last weekend I ran the first program, then the second. I came back to find the entire iPod library gone. What had happened is that the mount failed somehow, but the directory for it was there, so it was looking for the original files in an empty directory, and deleting files that didn't match, which was all of them.

Oops.

So now I am recreating the whole library, which is a simple -- but very slow -- matter of re-running the first program, then the second. I estimate it will take about 3-4 days, running nonstop (it's a G4/867 doing the main encoding job), for about 8500 files, with maybe 6000 or so of those needing encoding.

Of course, I patched the second program to make sure that the mount point really is there. A simple matter of looking for the existence of a directory or file that will absolutely be there if the mount is correct, and will not be created by the program -- so should not exist -- if it is not.

I run the first program again. Everything is basically fine ... until my local hard drive fills up.

Same problem again, on the other side: the mount failed, and so it is copying files TO the wrong place: the local drive.

At least I didn't lose much time: I move those files out of the way, mount the remote drive, and copy them into place. Then I patch the second program in the same basic way, and run it again.

Hopefully it all works this time. I've run these programs many times over the last few years, and then two failures of the same type on different machines in the same week. Weird.

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