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Comments

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Even After NSA Leaks, Government Still Trusted Over Private Firms

Valacosa That actually (sort of) makes sense. (234 comments)

Ostensibly government exists to provide services. It's reasonable that one would have to provide information in the course of receiving these services. But, if a for-profit corporation is asking for personal information, it's almost assured to be part of a scheme to extract money from me.

Or to put it another way, there's only a very small chance government thugs will use my address to knock down my door, but a very large chance a company will use my address to send me spam. So I don't see why the result of the study is surprising.

Before you all flame me, I'm not American, and neither is this study.

about 7 months ago
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FBI Publishes Top Email Terms Used By Corporate Fraudsters

Valacosa Nah, the warez people have got this (105 comments)

"I know this is a g2ey 4r34, and this may sound like a c0\/er up, but we need to keep this f41led inv3stment off the b00ks or do a \/\/rite off. N0b0dy will find ou7."

about a year and a half ago
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VeriSign Could Add 220 New Top Level Domains

Valacosa Will they all be English words? (116 comments)

There tends to be anglo-centrism on the web, but it's never too late to start turning the tide. I'm sure many over in Quebec would love the TLD .tabernac

more than 2 years ago
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Zimmerman Charged With 2nd-Degree Murder

Valacosa Re:Take this off of Slashdot please (995 comments)

I agree. If this didn't belong on Slashdot, why'd it get over 400 comments?

more than 2 years ago
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UK MPs Threaten New Laws If Google Won't Censor Search

Valacosa What the UK MPs really mean (154 comments)

Translation: Collecting, cross-referencing, and archiving personally-identifiable information is the job of the government.

more than 2 years ago
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Spanish Company Tests 'Right To Be Forgotten' Against Google

Valacosa Your rights end at my nose; memory included (200 comments)

There's no way in hell your "right" to be forgotten is more important than our right to remember.

more than 2 years ago
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AP and 28 News Groups To Collect Fees From Aggregators

Valacosa Hopefully more clarification (303 comments)

I have some answers for you:

Third-tier newspapers. Neighbourhood and college newspapers tend to be members of "newswires". That membership will grant the publication permission to print stories which are posted on the wire. Whenever a story in your city newspaper is prepended by "REUTERS" or "CANADIAN PRESS" or whatever, is a story from the wire. The Associated Press isn't forming NewsRight to chase community papers, because (at least the legitmate or mainstream papers) are already paying customers, and have been for decades.

Paraphrasing. In both American and Canadian copyright law, facts cannot be copyrighted — only creative works conveying facts (i.e. the writing itself). So paraphrasing a story is "okay" it's considered weaksauce journalism, but not illegal. Keep in mind that proper paraphrasing isn't trivial; it involves telling the story your own way, not just changing a couple of words in the original and passing it off as your own. That's "plagarism" (read: copyright infringement) and definitely illegal.

It's worth remembering that there are cases where permissive licenses are attached to text, either implicitly or explicitly. Companies want newspapers to reprint portions of their press releases (although again, "weaksauce journalism"), and occasionally there's a piece of relevant writing licensed under the Creative Commons (though these tend to be opinion pieces and columnists, not news. It's a bit more common for photos.)

I'm happy to try and answer any more questions. (I was the editor-in-chief of a university newspaper.)

more than 2 years ago
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When Getting Rid of College Lectures Makes Sense

Valacosa Academics doesn't deserve live performances? (212 comments)

"With modern technology, if all there is is music, we don't need musicians to do it. ... Get 'em to do it once, put it on the Web, and fire the musicians."

Careful where you go with that line of thinking. And if anyone says, "there's a difference between a physics lecture, and something creative like music," I would respond that you've never had a good physics teacher. Physics is very creative, once you start getting into the upper levels.

Eric Mazur gave a talk here at the University of Waterloo, and his talk was not about getting rid of lectures, per se. That's something the NPR reporter seems to assume, to the point where (s)he inserted soundbytes from an entirely different physics prof. Mazur's focus is about making the classtime much more interactive, to give students feedback about whether or not they really grasp the concepts. Again, it's about guided creativity. And no, you can't get rid of the professor in that situation.

(Yes, I was a physics major.)

more than 2 years ago
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I've had a personal email account for ...

Valacosa Wording of this question favours the young (336 comments)

The younger you are, the younger it's possible for you to have gotten email. Old hat techies who were born in 1940 wouldn't be able to break the 50% mark no matter how hardcore they are, but anyone born 1990 or later will probably be able to truthfully pick one of the latter two options.

It's funny, because this is the opposite of how these polls usually go.

more than 3 years ago
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Doctors To Patients: First, Do No Yelp Harm

Valacosa Should take more of a shrink-wrap license approach (581 comments)

What are they thinking? The doctors aren't thinking outside the box enough. Really, instead of getting people to sign old-fashioned contracts, they should emulate the EULA. You know, by putting up a plaque in their office which says something like this:

By entering this building, you agree to transfer to this establishment copyright on all creative works you own including but not limited to written works, drawings, photographs, spoken-word works, in perpetuity.

Amateurs.

more than 3 years ago
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Chinese iPad Factory Staff Forced To Sign 'No Suicide' Pledge

Valacosa Re:Ugh (537 comments)

Without arguing that social hygene is a good idea or in some way fair, don't you have to be at least a little stupid to get involved with hiding Jews knowing that you could spend your days alternating between having to telemarket and being pounded in the ass as a result?

I mean, there's lots of things I'd like to do that I don't agree with the laws on, but orange jumpsuit is a terrible look for me and so I don't.

I know I've Godwin'd the thread, but it illustrates my point: it's a bad idea to blindly follow the law, and it's poor critical thinking to blindly condemn those who don't. There are good arguments for not getting involved with drugs, but that's not one of them.

more than 3 years ago
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Lost Online Games From the Pre-Web Era

Valacosa Re:LORD (186 comments)

I remember that. There were only a few of us who signed onto the local BBS, and only one other who was playing LORD as regularly as I was. But it made for a compelling reason to log on every day. "If I don't dial in and take my turn, that other guy is going to kill me."

more than 3 years ago
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UK Pursues Tax Evaders Using Stolen Bank Details

Valacosa Re:Two Wrongs. . . (315 comments)

You're right. Taxes are evil and useless. Everyone knows that the infrastructure which enables modern civilization, like roads and plumbing, are paid for with leprechaun gold.

And the military to defend that civilization is created with pixie dust.

more than 3 years ago
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Blockbuster Files For Bankruptcy

Valacosa Give me the small, indie rental place any day (390 comments)

Blockbuster's selection sucked. If you only rented the most popular of movies, you'd probably never notice. But they'd have an entire wall of DVD-release-of-the-week, while completely lacking titles which were only a little out of the mainstream.

Have you ever found Mystery Science Theatre 3000 in a Blockbuster? I haven't, and people looked at me funny when I asked. But it's available at this little local rental place with shelves, stuffed floor to ceiling, with movies. They also have a basement full of obscure anime. That's the rental place which is going to stick around. Places like Blockbuster which trade only in common content will have their lunch eaten by NetFlix and download services. But the stores run by actual local movie nerds offering every obscure title under the sun will still have a reason to exist.

Buh-bye Blockbuster. I won't miss you.

more than 3 years ago
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Reading Terrorists' Minds About Imminent Attack

Valacosa Numbers in the article don't match the summary (206 comments)

"Without any prior knowledge of the planned crime in our mock terrorism scenarios, we were able to identify 10 out of 12 terrorists and, among them, 20 out of 30 crime- related details," Rosenfeld said. "The test was 83 percent accurate in predicting concealed knowledge, suggesting that our complex protocol could identify future terrorist activity."

(Emphasis mine)

In fairness to Timothy, the linked story does have the "100 percent accuracy" soundbyte in it. I'm guessing the journalist took something the researcher said out of context.

more than 3 years ago
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Facing 16 Years In Prison For Videotaping Police

Valacosa The problem is Maryland's two-party law (878 comments)

If Maryland only required one party involved in a conversation to be aware for a recording to be legal, this bullshit charge would never fly. Such is the case in Canada, and the majority of US states.

more than 3 years ago
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Canadian Arrested Over Plans to Test G20 Security

Valacosa Re:no beef paying for security, just not in TORONT (392 comments)

Uh, they actually did that. The G8 is up in Huntsville, and new buildings were constructed for that purpose. IIRC, I read that the G20 was originally supposed to be up there as well, but Huntsville isn't large enough to house all the delegations.

about 4 years ago
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BP Knew of Deepwater Horizon Problems 11 Months Ago

Valacosa Old memo deja-vu (438 comments)

From here:

BEN-VENISTE: Isn't it a fact, Dr. Rice, that the August 6 PDB warned against possible attacks in this country? And I ask you whether you recall the title of that [President's daily briefing]?

RICE: I believe the title was, "Bin Laden Determined to Attack Inside the United States."

Was anyone else reminded of that little gem?

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Valacosa Valacosa writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Valacosa writes "I take a lot of pictures. In under three years, I've accumulated over 25,000 JPEGs, making up roughly 25Gb of data. They are all stored in folders according to date, in YYYY-MM-DD format.

The thing is, whenever I go looking for a specific photo, or whenever someone asks "Send me every photo you've ever taken of me" it's an incredibly time intensive task. Does anybody know of Windows or Linux software out there which would help me find, tag, and burn sets of photos that'll do its thing without moving all my files around, duplicating 25 Gb of data, or generally doing something unpleasant?

And before you ask, no, this is not porn."

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