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Why Are We Made of Matter?

Torodung Re:Ah, antimatter (393 comments)

That brings to mind an idea: Maybe dark matter is antimatter, and the universe isn't as inscrutable as we think.

about two weeks ago

NSA Confirms It Has Been Searching US Citizens' Data Without a Warrant

Torodung Re:This is (274 comments)

I think it's hilarious, because it's someone reading in a robot voice, not a robot voice. I am gleeful imagining the staff recording every single submission for a dopey 401 joke.

Somebody submit a manifesto, or something similarly huge.

about three weeks ago

OKCupid Warns Off Mozilla Firefox Users Over Gay Rights

Torodung Re:April Fools stories are gay (1482 comments)

"Unwilling to tolerate differences in opinions or beliefs, especially religious beliefs."

The American Heritage Dictionary

I'll see your dictionary, and raise you a politically motivated reference volume decided by fiat. The original "intolerance" was religious intolerance. Easy to forget, I suppose.

If you believe words have only one definition and you command it in a given discussion, you may be gravely mistaken. You are certainly not a useless human being, because there is no such thing outside of the confines of utter bigotry.

about three weeks ago

Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

Torodung Re:Vista/7 (1009 comments)

Basically, they brought back the "Program Manager" with icons that require a lot more mouse movement on a desktop system. They undid an interface (start menu) that was going on 20 years old in order to bring back the paradigms of Windows 3.0.

about 3 months ago

Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Could Actually Be Group From Europe

Torodung Bitcoin story every day (186 comments)

Even when there's nothing to talk about, you can have a Bitcoin story on the Slashdot front page every day.

This isn't even "news for nerds," it's Usenet-style speculation for the terminally bored.

about 4 months ago

Employee Morale Is Suffering At the NSA

Torodung Re:problem is (841 comments)

Even more fundamentally obvious, the number of toys and troops, and their vast overarching deployments, creates an atmosphere that inevitably leads to wars. This is opportunity presenting itself to the military, and wars of opportunity. Let alone how it benefits the military industrial complex to have our military in such positions of opportunity.

If we have troops deployed globally, as we do now, the likelihood of elective war, even global war, goes up exponentially. It's what keeps such military geopolitics sustainable. In short: Weapons have a tendency to go off. It's what defines them as weapons. The idea of a deterrent force is an oxymoron and a myth.

about 4 months ago

Shots Fired At US Capitol

Torodung Grim times (608 comments)

So the only question in my mind is "How is this any different or less ethical than what Congress has done to this country?" The only difference is that, for some reason that escapes me, what Congress is doing, putting hundreds of thousands out of work because we don't accept election results any longer, is legal.

Clearly, this act is illegal, but my point is that both acts should be, and both are about the same level of nuts. Congress' behavior should be criminalized.

All those years of Russian history and I never understood why you might have to dissolve the Duma. This is a prime example. Our legislature cannot function, and is randomly lashing out at the people it represents. They have caused more harm to more people than this sick perp could ever hope to.

about 7 months ago

Should the Next 'Doctor Who' Be a Woman?

Torodung Why not a dog? Dogs are great in focus groups. (772 comments)

After Matt Smith's regenerative comment about having "two legs," I wonder if the Doctor shouldn't come back as a dog, or some mythical CGI centaur type thing. Why limit ourselves to humanity? Where is your imagination?

Oh, right. For the same reason Peter Capaldi is chosen as the next Doctor. The novelty of any such change wears off too quickly, and then you're stuck with a world of fan expectations and a never-ending cycle of ridiculous fan service. Better to keep the formula locked away in a vault, even if it isn't such a secret any longer, eh?

I heartily support Moffat's decision to keep it simple.

about 8 months ago

Several Western Govts. Ban Lenovo Equipment From Sensitive Networks

Torodung It's neither - just a false dilemma (410 comments)

In areas of high sensitivity, there is no such thing as "fearmongering." Only fear, and justifiable risk. That it's being publicized in this way, without the inclusion of some context in the summary of the real security needs of the governments, who have to worry about TEMPEST emissions and other crap no one would dream of caring about, is the "fearmongering." I trust that our governments know what their requirements are in this regard, and that avoiding Lenovo is not going to keep them from accomplishing their mission. So that choice is a no-brainer.

I doubt however, that avoiding that particular brand will help, when everything else is also made in China, and the minerals are sourced from China. That's the real dilemma. How do you maintain security when you produce very little as a nation? There's no substitute for "made at home" in these cases. I wonder in what case, if any, that is actually truly achievable.

about 9 months ago

Hackers Using Bots, Scripts To Lock Down Restaurant Reservations

Torodung Abusing the system (214 comments)

This is abuse of the reservation system, plain and simple. It simply is not robust enough (too informal) to handle bots. I suspect it soon will become commonplace to require tortuous captchas for reservations. Great job, lazy hacktivists! You've ruined e-life for everyone.

As for posting code for it in the wild so any script kiddy can do it. Good for you. That's called leveling the playing field. It's the proliferation of bots just to be shits to each other that rankles my ire, not the fact that everyone can now do it.

about 9 months ago

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

Torodung Re:I'm amazed... (1737 comments)

Hey, they aren't even on American soil! That was the whole point. To create a human rights "dead zone." Atrocious.

about 9 months ago

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

Torodung Re:I'm amazed... (1737 comments)

With his Masonic ring, George Washington would shoot lasers at them. ;^)

about 9 months ago

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

Torodung Re:I'm amazed... (1737 comments)

Mod this up, because he's absolutely correct. There is a meta-process that was included to prevent this sort of thing from ever coming to trial, and it is short-circuited by our ubiquitous "infotainment" media. Thanks for weighing in AC.

about 9 months ago

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

Torodung Re:I'm amazed... (1737 comments)

Yes, I call that "their means justify our means." It is distasteful, and a logical fallacy, not to mention a swift road to hell and warfare. I am heartened to see someone else coming to that realization. I am dismayed by the trend.

about 9 months ago

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

Torodung Re:I'm amazed... (1737 comments)

If it was POWs there, the Red Cross would have access. It is far worse than that.

about 9 months ago

Say What? Wading Through the Nonsense In Microsoft's Re-Org Memo

Torodung Re:I'm not sure... (165 comments)

Hey, glad to see you're working on your rage issues, if not your tact. You have no idea who I AM.

about 9 months ago

DuckDuckGo: Illusion of Privacy

Torodung Re: DuckDuckGo sucks (264 comments)

If clicking a bookmark or using a Firefox search assist is navigating, then yes. You make it sound like he's typing in the URL.

about 9 months ago

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

Torodung Re:I'm amazed... (1737 comments)

Yes, and accusations are a dime a dozen, battery can be anything from a brutal clubbing to throwing a wad of paper with ill intent, and resisting arrest is one officer's bad day away from being on your docket as well, should you be close to an unfortunate occurance. Context is everything.

And CONTEXT is what has been left out of the media screed you just quoted, which on the night of the killing included critical context in the NBC playback of the 911 call. You've been indoctrinated by a media machine digging up as much shit as possible on Zimmerman to try to get people to overlook the fact that they cut up the 911 call, deliberately, and with intent to race bait and perhaps start a race riot, friend AC. I call bullshit on the media. I call BS on unenlightened self-interest and circling the wagons to protect one's own. The media are one's that caused the prosecutors to overreach, because of public demand for it, and caused a failure to convict Zimmerman of the crimes he actually committed that night, and thus the real failure of justice. Overreach and hype. We need fewer people who believe the hype-machine's bullshit, not more. Doubling down on crap is not the solution.

That woman was crazy, and deserved 20 years, and the context shows it. What did the context in the Zimmerman case show? That he didn't commit murder. That is all.

about 9 months ago



Duke University leaves Usenet for good

Torodung Torodung writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Torodung (31985) writes "

On May 20, Duke will shut down its Usenet server, which provides access to a worldwide electronic discussion network of newsgroups started in 1979 by two Duke graduate students, Tom Truscott and Jim Ellis.

Given the size and scope of Usenet, this is more of a footnote, but the article at Duke Today online has all sorts of interesting trivia, pictures, and an homage to this vibrant but ailing medium, including a brief trivia quiz about the Usenet."
Link to Original Source


'EULA-like' Issues Extended To Medical Forms

Torodung Torodung writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Torodung (31985) writes "In his InfoWorld 'Gripelog,' Ed Foster tells an interesting story about medical privacy. A colonoscopy patient is given a form with fine print that implies a contractual agreement, which Foster compares to click-agreement EULA's. 'The [patient] decided not to submit the form.'

'The more the reader thought about the form (along with all the worries and stresses of prepping for a colonosocpy) (sic), the less he liked it. "Why would they need my Social Security number?" he wondered. "Is this a genuine request for medical information or some kind of marketing thing or even an identity theft scam? To have my SSN, date of birth and all this other information on a form that will be passed from hand to hand around a hospital and who knows what other organizations is VERY questionable."

To summarize: The only reason the patient knew there was a privacy concern at all was because the HIPAA act required boilerplate text stating that he was entering an agreement, but the terms of his agreement, and indeed that it was not mandatory, was left ambiguous."

Comcast takes high road - proposes self regulation

Torodung Torodung writes  |  about 6 years ago

Torodung (31985) writes "In a recent move, Comcast has proposed a 'P2P Bill of Rights,' joining the ranks of every great monopoly when threatened by government regulation for alleged misbehavior. They have instead proposed comprehensive industry self-regulation and cooperation with major P2P software vendors as a lesser evil:

Comcast is looking to further position itself as proactively — and responsibly — addressing the issue of managing peer-to-peer traffic that traverses its network, announcing Tuesday it will lead an industry-wide effort to create a "P2P Bill of Rights and Responsibilities" for users and Internet service providers.
It will be interesting to see how this story develops."

Warning: Vista gadgets a potential malware vector

Torodung Torodung writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Torodung (31985) writes "This in, from the Microsoft Technet Flash newsletter:

A final security note: If you are running Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets, they are subject to cross-site scripting style bugs. These bugs are extremely serious because script in the Sidebar is capable of running arbitrary code in the context of the locally logged-on user. This article outlines some of the secure programming best practices that should be considered when building Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets. Check out Inspect Your Gadget for some of the secure programming best practices that should be considered when building Windows Vista Sidebar Gadgets.
In summary, badly coded Gadgets are a potential spyware/malware vector in the Windows operating system, as ActiveX and BHO's were previously, and Gadget input needs to be scrubbed for the same URI problems that Firefox recently fixed in v2.0.0.6, amongst other pitfalls. If you use Vista, you need to keep a careful eye on your Gadgets, and if you code a Gadget, the linked article gives some "best practices" to avoid becoming part of the problem."

Crewmen 3 Sheets To the Wind Before Entering Orbit

Torodung Torodung writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Torodung (31985) writes "The BBC (and many others) reports that, on at least two separate occasions, astronauts were cleared for shuttle launch while "so intoxicated... that flight surgeons and-or fellow astronauts raised concerns... regarding flight safety." Not good.

In other news, Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton's applications to NASA were flatly rebuffed. Sorry, it's a cheap joke, but NASA coverage is starting to look less like the science page and more like the entertainment page these days."

Torodung Torodung writes  |  about 7 years ago

Torodung writes "Well, some more grist for the mill in the Apple iPod/Vista story. ComputerWorld reports that Microsoft just released a patch to keep Windows Vista from scrambling users' iPods and addressed some similar issues with Cannon cameras as well. From the article:

Earlier this month, Apple updated iTunes to Version 7.1.1 to patch several Vista-related problems, but left others — including the Safely Remove Hardware bug — unfixed. At the time, Apple said it was "actively working with Microsoft to resolve a few remaining known issues." It had also recommended that users select the Eject iPod option on the iTunes Controls menu to remove an iPod from a Vista PC's USB port.
(Be the first to tag this "defectivebydesign" and win a free lollipop!)"

Torodung Torodung writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Torodung writes "*NOT FOR PUBLICATION* 6:26GMT 11/08/06 IE Tab extension is suddenly running very slowly on my computer for no apparent reason on every site. I downloaded an update as a result (v1.20.20061106). Same issue. When I use the function to launch IE in its own browser from Firefox, it is quick as ever. It only happens when I launch it in embedded in Firefox Embedded IE works *fine* elsewhere, in my Weatherbug window, for instance. I suspect Microsoft is at the heart of this (in fact, I was wondering when they'd get around to it) and am wondering if anyone else has reported this issue, or if someone has a link to an article about it. Didn't know how to get in touch with you guys otherwise, but it's definitely a scoop if my suspicions are correct. I'm sorry I don't have a link or anything substantive to add. Consider this a "tip" instead of an article. If there's a good email addy I can use to get in touch with the community to report such things, rather than the story submission channel, please accept my apologies for being a moron and direct my tired eyes to the appropriate place. Thanks. — Toro"



Virtual Law - Common Law Does Not Apply On Your Computer

Torodung Torodung writes  |  more than 5 years ago

IANAL, but I know a lot about copyright law, because I am an avid PC gamer. I'm no expert, but it's more than I want to know. Perhaps I'm too inquiring, but it seems to me that it's impossible to be a computer gamer these days, whilst remaining a thinking, independent American (I'm a citizen), without running up against this aspect of law every day.

The problem is, it isn't U.S. law that's reflected on my machine. It is virtual law, and the legislation comes in the form of whatever arbitrary certification and copy control software publishers and software makers choose to saddle me with. I don't have a choice, nor representation (unless I buy their stock), and it doesn't conform to consumer law in the real world in the slightest.

[this is a stub for an article I'm working on]


What does Torodung mean?

Torodung Torodung writes  |  more than 6 years ago

What does Torodung mean? Ostensibly, it means "bullshit." It was a joke god I had invented for Dungeons and Dragons, but I never sent it off to Dragon magazine.

Torodung was the god of bullshit, and his clerics could cast great boons like "Check shit out," "Pinch Loaves and Water," "Crap, 10' radius," "Brownstorm," "Hit the fan" or the ominous "Powerful shit." They were all Chaotic Neutral, and behaving like you were bonkers was a requirement of the Cult of Torodung. It was low brow humor to be sure, and more quirky than funny.

I took the name, because I was creating a sample account, but somehow wound up actually using it. The avatar I choose when I am Torodung is the nether half of a cow.

I am a technologist and an operator, a person who couldn't stand the idea of poring over pages of code just to find the semi-colon that was out of place. I decided to work on making computer software work , even though I was a promising coder. I just couldn't deal with debugging. Too much fine print.

I am an amateur linguist, and describe myself politically as a "liberal conservative." If you consider that an oxymoron, you should consider looking at a dictionary, because the two are not mutually exclusive. For most intents and purposes, the simpler description is that I am a libertarian, with no particular party affiliation, though I loathe the Republicans more than I loathe the Democrats. That is faint but damning praise. I don't think either party represents anything but their own interests any more.

Oh, and yes, I'm an arrogant American who didn't think of mentioning that until this point. I reside in the Chicagoland area (Illinois).


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