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Comments

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Most Irritating Industry

UbuntuDupe Re:Tech (201 comments)

Reminds me of the time I asked the Ubuntu community for help with the ultra-user-friendly, ultra-well-designed, ultra-well-deserving of dominance in home OS market Breezy Badger.

me: I can't get into any OS when I tried to dual boot. On startup, the bootloader, GRUB, throws error 25 at stage 1.5 and locks up, preventing further input. I've tried this several times and reinstalled several times and have gotten the same result.
forum: What other OS are you using?
me: what does that have to do with the bootloader error?
forum: moron, we need to know before we are mentally capable of thinking of what could cause that error.
me: no, you don't.
forum: go away.
forum: Oh, I know!!!! Try re-installing!
forum: Oh, I know!!!! It must be a download error even though it's virtually impossible to have gotten to this point if there were any problem with the download!
forum: Oh, I know!!!! Try typing in ...
forum: Oh, I know!!!! Go into the Linux OS that you can't even access and post your menu.1st file!
forum: Oh, I know!!!! Go burn a new CD with strictly less functionality than one you used to do this, from one of the OSes you can't access which was the whole reason you came here!
forum: Here, follow the instructions on the website that we don't understand ourselves or expect to be useful or will follow up on if you do try!
forum: Hey, we're trying to be helpful, what's the problem?
me: Wow, I have never seen a group more worthy of the title "doesn't get it".

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Russian scambot passes Turing Test?

UbuntuDupe UbuntuDupe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

UbuntuDupe (970646) writes "CNet reports that a chatterbot has been extracting personal information by pretending to flirt in Russian chatrooms — information that could be used for identity theft. Apparently, its flirting is realistic enough to make people want to share that information, as if it were a real human flirter. From the article:

A program that can mimic online flirtation and then extract personal information from its unsuspecting conversation partners is making the rounds in Russian chat forums, according to security software firm PC Tools.

The artificial intelligence of CyberLover's automated chats is good enough that victims have a tough time distinguishing the "bot" from a real potential suitor, PC Tools said. The software can work quickly too, establishing up to 10 relationships in 30 minutes, PC Tools said. It compiles a report on every person it meets complete with name, contact information, and photos.

"As a tool that can be used by hackers to conduct identity fraud, CyberLover demonstrates an unprecedented level of social engineering," PC Tools senior malware analyst Sergei Shevchenko said in a statement.
Via Marginal Revolution."
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UbuntuDupe UbuntuDupe writes  |  more than 7 years ago

UbuntuDupe writes "It blew my mind that they could be so direct about it, but, as reported by the Washington Post, Congress has shut down a farmer who competitively bottled his own milk, outside of the regulated system of farm subsidies. From the story:

In the summer of 2003, shoppers in Southern California began getting a break on the price of milk.

A maverick dairyman named Hein Hettinga started bottling his own milk and selling it for as much as 20 cents a gallon less than the competition, ... .

That was when a coalition of giant milk companies and dairies, along with their congressional allies, decided to crush Hettinga's initiative. For three years, the milk lobby spent millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions and made deals with lawmakers, including incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.).

Last March, Congress passed a law reshaping the Western milk market and essentially ending Hettinga's experiment — all without a single congressional hearing.

Considering that the only reason many voters allow agricultural subsidies is to protect the small family farmer, how does Congress get away with this? It reminds me of Congressman Barney Frank's (D-Ma.) speech a while back."

Journals

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Apology to Ubuntu Forum II

UbuntuDupe UbuntuDupe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

The previous journal entry containing an apology has now been archived and prohibits comments. I am reposting it here to allow further comments from anyone who would like to, and to reaffirm my sincerity in the below.

Many of you are familiar with my history with Ubuntu and the Ubuntu forums. What follows is an apology for my behavior on the Ubuntu forums.

I apologize for the rude way I treated users on the Ubuntu forums. I should not have told anyone that they "reached a new low" or characterized Ubuntu's adherence to its stated philosophy as "crap", or generally taken the tone that I did with the people who offered help, even if I felt the criticisms I made (of the response, or of the technical merits of the Ubuntu software and instructions downloadable at the time) were valid. I understand that no one there is obligated to help me, and thus I should be appreciative of whatever help they provide.

This is not to say I have changed any opinion about the system and setup instructions that I criticized, just to say that I should not have made any of these crticisms, or responded to people in the Ubuntu forums, in the manner that I did two years ago.

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Apology to Ubuntu forum

UbuntuDupe UbuntuDupe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Many of you are familiar with my history with Ubuntu and the Ubuntu forums. What follows is an apology for my behavior on the Ubuntu forums.

I apologize for the rude way I treated users on the Ubuntu forums. I should not have told anyone that they "reached a new low" or characterized Ubuntu's adherence to its stated philosophy as "crap", or generally taken the tone that I did with the people who offered help, even if I felt the criticisms I made (of the respose, or of the technical merits of the Ubuntu software and instructions downloadable at the time) were valid. I understand that no one there is obligated to help me, and thus I should be appreciative of whatever help they provide.

This is not to say I have changed any opinion about the system and setup instructions that I criticized, just to say that I should not have made any of these crticisms, or responded to people in the Ubuntu forums, in the manner that I did two years ago.

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Ubuntu haunts me from the grave

UbuntuDupe UbuntuDupe writes  |  more than 6 years ago

A lot of you are aware by now of my ... shall we say ... unpleasant experience with Ubuntu. It cost me a lot of grief, despite my above-average (wait, think about who we're averaging over) computer knowledge, experience with swapping out components in my box, and intense preparations. Over the years, more events have rubbed it in:

-The fact that people get modded up for making the exact same design criticisms I've made, in different contexts.
-The fact that I gain hordes of freaks and downmods whenever I discuss my experience.
-The fact that I have to read about how "easy" Ubuntu is.
-All the stories I see of people talking about their multiple hard drives, while they acted like I was a freak from a different planet for having more than one HD on my setup.
-The fact that the install process hasn't been updated per my recommendations (make sure everyone installing has the necessary tools for fixing the problem of being locked out BEFORE they go through with it; making sure GRUB isn't HIGHLY RECOMMENDED if someone can load their OS by picking a different drive to boot from), or, if it has, I have not received a gold-plated apology.

But with help from my brother, I was able to regain access to Windows, which I have used all through today.

I thought the story was over. All of you thought the story was over. It's not.

Yesterday, I was looking at my 3rd hard drive's free space, and I saw that there was still about 60 gigs allocated to the Ubuntu partition. So, I decided to go into disk manager and delete that partition. But after I did it, suddenly, the Windows side is recognized as "free space" as well.

Oh, shit.

I turned off the computer and disconnected the third hard drive. Then I downloaded Partition Magic (on advice from my brother), then turned it off again, reconnected, and turned it back on and opened PM. It identified several problems with the boot sector on the 3rd HD, all of which were made through the Ubuntu CD. It corrected them, but Windows still sees it as being all "free space", but still partitioned. In the hope of salvaging the data on this hard drive, for now I have disconnected it again, and will meet with my brother in the future to see what we can do to correct it. In the mean time, I'm doing without the 160 gigs of data.

You couldn't leave me alone, could you, Ubuntu?

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Proposal for solution to sprawled-big-city transportation

UbuntuDupe UbuntuDupe writes  |  more than 7 years ago

These days, if you want to go to work without a long, stressful commute, you have to expensively live near work, or find work in a smaller town. Current methods of solving this sprawl-related transportation problem have proven woefully insufficient. The losses due to being stuck in stop-and-go traffic every day are huge: the time lost, the pollution that's not contributing to any transportation, the stress on drivers, and more. Here I propose a solution, which I have suggested in previous threads:

Electronically administer peak-hour tolls high enough to make peak-hour traffic not significantly higher that off-peak traffic.

Details:

-The tolls would be determined experimentally, and vary between cities. The sole criterion for assessment on the various vehicle types would be "What toll sufficiently reduces the congestion?" It would not be designed to favor any other social goal, such as punishing wealthier/poorer drivers, more/less polluting cars (those should be handled with a separate fee), etc. While I can't know in advance what the exact amounts would be, I expect the amounts needed to accomplish this would be something like: Compact cars -- $30 each way; SUV's, vans, and large pickups -- $40 each way; buses and large trucks -- $100 each way, just to give you an idea.

-Yes, it has to be electronic. The toll collection must not itself be congesting. For those with privacy concerns, there could be anonymous transponders you'd attach inside your car that could be "charged up" with cash. All the machines would have to check is that the transponder has enough in its anonymous account, and that it matches the vehicle toll-class it claims to be. (So you can't buy a compact-car transponder and stick it on your 18-wheeler.) Rush hour non-regular passers-through would have to stop and buy one.

-The plan creates a new, large market for private buses, which would almost certainly be (assuming they can get regular ridership) cheaper per person than driving alone. You should expect lots of newer, more convenient private bus lines to open. If you periodically need to stay late, you can take a taxi home. You would probably still drive to the bus depot.

-For those with concerns about, "But I done paid for the road alriddy!", you could modify the plan to have a government-run free bus that would allow you to still travel for free. You could also refund all toll revenues net of operating costs to drivers, but this would be rather pointless. If people get the free infusion of money, they will just revise up the amount they're willing to pay for peak hour road usage, which means you'll have to raise tolls to quell the congestion again, creating a viscious cycle. Best use that money to reduce taxes elsewhere.

-Tolls should not be charged at all for the times where there is no congestion.

-"Just build more roads!" is not a solution. That just makes people live farther out and swallow up the new capacity. Also, the biggest road still has to, at some point, dump its load onto smaller roads, at which point it backs up and eliminates the entire benefit.

Benefits

-This would significantly reduce commute time, allowing you more free time, or work more hours for the same time away from home. I expect two thirds reduction in commute time. Is it worth it to pay ~$7/day tolls and ride on a private bus and not have the stress of the traffic, for that? I think so.

-The plan would be liberating in how it can reduce or eliminate a person's reliance on cars and gasoline. If you don't drive nearly as much, you also pay less in insurance, and have lower risk of death.

-No pollution wasted while stalled in traffic.

-Greater incentives for denser development, which is more compatible with bus lines. And it wouldn't require city government micromanagement to happen. This would also lay the ground work (in terms of dense transportation modes) for transition of current cities to the type of city where you don't need a car, like New York.

-You can still use your car for errands.

I'm sure I left out something, but this gets the main idea in. Thoughts?

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