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FBI Wants You To Solve Encrypted Notes From Murder

Something Witty Here My magic decoder ring says... (466 comments)

It is actually the lyrics to the Kingsmen version
of the song Louie, Louie. Verse 3 mentions a
"grassy knoll" and something about @!&ABo((~`={{vb

more than 3 years ago

Activists Seek Repeal of Ban On Incandescent Bulbs

Something Witty Here EPA doesn't care about mercury? (1049 comments)

A day or two ago it was reported that the EPA was easing
requirements for mercury emmisions to save money for power
companies. Nice that the EPA is so worried about the CEO's
bonuses. Wish they would do their job and worry about our

We should have a heavy tax on mercury emmisions and use
the proceeds to subsidise windmills and LED lights.

Lighting is very small part of my electricity use.
My eyes don't like fluorescents, and I need to make
my eyes as happy as possible (one emergency eye surgery
is *more* than enough, thank you). I've been converting
some lighting to LEDs. Most of my lights get used very
rarely, so obscessing about the 3 Watt-minutes/year that
they use is silly.

Obscess a bit less about your light bulbs and instead
obscess a bit more about the *big* energy hogs in your life.
Get out of your car and use your bicycle instead. I
haven't bought any gasoline or Diesel in several years.
Insulate your attic, shade your windows in summer,
(awnings reduce the heat load an *amasing* amount!)
upgrade windows if possible. Check the weatherstripping.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Is There a War Against Small Mail Servers?

Something Witty Here Re:Yes there is a war against small email sites :- (459 comments)

>> BTW, news flash for those of you that think google has good anti-spam.
>> They don't. They false positive legit email as spam.
> I'm only speaking from my personal experience. I find Google's spam
> filtering to be absolutely top-notch. I only very occasionally get
> false positives in the spam folder,

Putting legit mail in a spam folder is one thing. Not delivering
legit mail at all is quite another, and gmail started doing that
at some point (date forgotten). If the only contact info for
someone you have is an email addr, (and that is common) you're stuck.

Oh, and you can't open a gmail account unless you have a cell phone
that can receive text messages. WTF?

> I've done the personal mail server dance a few times before. It's
> really a lot of work to make sure that your mail gets delivered
> everywhere and to make sure that spam is effectively filtered.

It used to work fine before so many people started the assume-you-
are-a-spammer-until-proved-innocent thing.

I hate spam as much as the next guy, but not being able to
contact people is orders of magnitude worse.

>> Web mail SUCKS.

> I think that's subjective.

OK, it is subjective. Web mail is SLOW SLOW SLOW.
Editing is a nightmare. Editing in an emacs text window
and then copy-and-paste into browser window helps, but is
still problematic. Having some company reading your mail
is evil. And you have to copy any info you want to save
back to your own computer bacause who knows when the
webmail will fail.

Webmail is a nice option to have and if you like it great.
But being forced to use it when you hate it sucks.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Is There a War Against Small Mail Servers?

Something Witty Here Yes there is a war against small email sites :-( (459 comments)

The discussion here is depressing.

"Get a *real* ISP."
What if there isn't one available?

"Get a business account, not a residential one."
Residential accounts need to send and receive email too.

"Spend more money for some_feature/T1 line/whatever."
Not everyone has Warren Buffet's bank account.

"Use web mail."
Web mail SUCKS.

"Have google handle your email."
And read it and sell you out to everyone.

BTW, news flash for those of you that think google has good
anti-spam. They don't. They false positive legit email
as spam.

"Get a static IP"
Shouldn't matter.

"Residential accounts can't run servers."
a) Why the hell not? server != business
b) *OUT*bound port 25 is a client, not a server.

"You might be a spammer."
Whatever happened to innocent until proven guilty?
You guys whine about the TSA thinking you might be a terrorist,
but assuming you are a spammer until proven guilty (or paying
big bucks for some "business" feature) is ok? There is a word
for that: hipocrit.

Yeah the original complaint is about a business, but the problem
is even worse for individuals.

more than 3 years ago

Scientifically, You Are Likely In the Slowest Line

Something Witty Here single line is EVIL (464 comments)

The single line method is evil. It removes choice
from the customer. I want to avoid the cashiers
that insist on putting canned soup on top of
bread and eggs. (and get upset if you start bagging your own)
I avoid stores that use the single line method.

more than 4 years ago

Mr. Pike, Tear Down This ASCII Wall!

Something Witty Here Even plain ASCII is too much for Google. :-( (728 comments)

> Everyone who tried to do something useful in APL, put up your hand.

APL is a wonderful language.

> Restricting digital storage to ones and zeros is needlessly polarizing
> and limiting. Why not allow a 0.5 bit value?

Word is the Russians tried to build trinary computers but the
magnetic cores wouldn't stay unmagnetized.

My stupid keyboard has redundant keys for the digits and a few others,
but no Umlaut, no Eszett and no Greek letters. Who designs this crap?

Some things can't even handle plain ASCII. Can anyone explain how
to google for "DVD-RW" or for "DVD+RW" without getting a gazillion
false hits? Google would be *so* much more useful it it handled
regular expressions.

more than 4 years ago

The World's Smallest Full HD Display

Something Witty Here Useful for camcorders (243 comments)

The display on my camcorder is lower resolution than what it actually captures. So I can't tell if I am capturing enough detail to read text or not. A small high resolution display would be wonderful. Lugging around a desktop monitor (and battery and inverter) is not practical.

more than 4 years ago

The State of Linux IO Scheduling For the Desktop?

Something Witty Here Re:what about servers? (472 comments)

> And FreeBSD has its own effort for that as well.

Could you point me toward this effort please?

Unix grew up on machines where CPU was nearly
always the bottleneck. But over the years CPUs
have increased in speed more than i/o has, so
now i/o is often the bottleneck.

I am convinced that a process that generates
data faster than a device can sink it will
fill up memory, starving other processes.

BTW, most web forums provide a way to send
someone a "private message", but I can't find
one on slashdot. Does /. have a similar facility,
or if not, why not?

more than 4 years ago

Are Consumer Hard Drives Headed Into History?

Something Witty Here even 'normal' hard drives are too small (681 comments)

I'm running 10 hard drives, most of them have been
upgraded to 2 GB. The expansion slots are all
full, so no more controller cards. I need a *lot*
more storage space. (SATA port multipliers look
promising, but can't find much in the way of
reviews, or actual user experience.) They are
just now coming out with 3 TB drives, hopefully
the prices will come down in a few months like
they usually do. But still way too small, I need
more like 100 TB per drive. Those itsy bitsy
SSDs might be okay for a laptop (that might get
dropped) with insignificant amounts of data,
but not for serious amounts of data that needs
cost effective storage.

more than 4 years ago

Watch the 1st American Newsreel of Sputnik Launch

Something Witty Here product placement in the 1950s (133 comments)

>> Maybe even with the IBM logo added to make that clear
> Either that or they weren't immune to product placement in the 50's

Check out _Ozzie_and_Harriet_ pushing Coke, or
_I_Love_Lucy_ pushing cigarettes.

more than 4 years ago

FCC White Space Rules Favor Tech Industry

Something Witty Here wired mics are a feature (135 comments)

For most applications, wired mics are better than
wireless. Sometimes the wire is even a feature.
What would Roger Daltrey do with a wireless mic?

more than 4 years ago

German Military Braces For Peak Oil

Something Witty Here The real problem (764 comments)

The real problem is overpopulation.

more than 4 years ago

FCC Fights To Maintain Indecency Policy

Something Witty Here Beam me up, Scotty (602 comments)

What is the FCC's excuse for censorship now that they have killed
off analog TV and thus all TVs have the V-chip?

Even medical education shows have everything blurred out.

Violence is offensive.

American football is violent and therefore offensive.

Janet Jackson is offensive with or without a "costume malfunction".

Nearly everything coming out of a politicion's mouth is offensive,
but they are constantly on the news.

Beam me up, Scotty, the USA has "jumped the shark".

more than 4 years ago

Open-Source 2D, 3D Drivers For ATI Radeon HD 5000 Series

Something Witty Here UVD ? (245 comments)

Is anyone working on reverse engineering UVD?
AMD/ATI is really dragging their feet on documenting UVD. :-(

more than 4 years ago

Nuclear Energy Now More Expensive Than Solar

Something Witty Here What could possibly go wrong with a nuke? (635 comments)

The problem with nukes is that people have this tendendacy to
make mistakes. Make a mistake with with a windmill or solar
and you might hurt yourself and a co-worker or two. Make a
mistake with a nuke and the entire world suffers. After
Chernobyl there was radioactive fallout in the continental
United States. Go look at a map and see how far away the US
is from Chernobyl. And the problem doesn't go away in a few
days, either. Germany still has problems from Chernobyl,
over 24 years later:

Have we learned anything in the last 24 years? BP's
problems repairing a simple plumbing leak say no.

more than 4 years ago

Adobe Putting PDF Reader In a Sandbox

Something Witty Here Solution: jail(8) (225 comments)

Real operating systems have real jails.

more than 4 years ago

The Oldest Timestamp On a File I Created and Still Have Is...

Something Witty Here Paper with holes has advantages (375 comments)

Paper tapes and classic yellow tty paper printouts from
the early 1970s, probably no timestamps though. PDP 8 FOCAL

Punch cards and printouts from mid 1970s, printouts would
have timestamps. CDC 6500, mostly FORTRAN, COMPASS (yeech)
Also some graphics printouts, one of which was published.

DEC tape from a famous PDP 11/70 running PWB Unix,
written 1979. Wish I had a DEC tape drive.

If I were sufficiently motivated I could
presumably look up the formats for paper tape
and punch cards and get the info. So of course
it is the DEC tape I'd like to be able to read.

more than 4 years ago

Implantable Eye Telescope Finally FDA Approved

Something Witty Here Re:plasticity (112 comments)

> You can't get used to it because you are constantly changing between the two.

I wear glasses virtually all day every day.

Here is an example that is constant: Vision in the eye that had the retina
surgically reattached still looks distorted (like looking through textured
privacy glass) after a year. Theory is that the retina didn't get reattached

The upside-down lens experiment sounds interesting. Maybe my brain just
isn't plastic enough.

> Sure it might not be ideal but it's better than not being able to see at all.

I'm not saying it wouldn't be an improvement, I'm just doubting that it would
look normal.

more than 4 years ago

Implantable Eye Telescope Finally FDA Approved

Something Witty Here plasticity (112 comments)

> The visual field would soon 'look' fairly normal as neural plasticity
> made the peripheral visual system do the job of the central and integrate
> that into visual processing. There would be loss of visual and color
> acuity since the peripheral retina isn't as densely populated, and had
> very little chromatic visual receptors. Within weeks any differences
> noted would fade as what's being presented became to seem normal.

I sincerely doubt that. I can't even get used to the "wide angle lens"
effect of my eyeglasses. (Changing the focus to correct for myopia
changes the magnification.) I would *really* like lenses that correct
the focus without changing the magnification.

This "donut" thing sounds worse.

more than 4 years ago

Poor Vision? There's an App For That

Something Witty Here Optics question (146 comments)

For the optical wizards out there, what would it take to make
eyeglasses that can correct extreme myopia without changing
the magnification? Would a multiple element lens be able to
do this?

Adjustable power lenses for $19 ? What's the catch?
More distortion or other optical problem? Are they fragile
or otherwise not very durable? These sound wonderful as
an alternative to bifocals/trifocals/etc. Need to look
at something X distance away? Just adjust your glasses
as needed.

> The classification as "medical devices" by the FDA is what
> attaches the requirement of a prescription.

Why aren't drugstore reading glasses classified as "medical devices"?
If you are slightly far-sighted you can get 3 pairs for $10 and
the quality is surprising decent. If you are near-sighted you
have to spend hundreds of dollars.

The eyephone app thingy sounds useful, (was planning on actually
reading TFA ( *gasp* ), but it crashed my browser) but will it
check your eyes for health problems? Of course none of my eye
doctors ever warned me that I was at high risk for retinal
detachment, so maybe the eyephone app would have been just as good?

more than 4 years ago


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