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Verizon Working On a La Carte Internet TV Service

Wonko the Sane Re:Meh (108 comments)

Who watches TV these days.

Old people.

A cohort of TV viewers die every day and are not replaced by younger ones.

about a week ago

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Wonko the Sane Re:There a war on (267 comments)

It's a fun way to be proved right.

They don't even bother pretending to hide what they are doing.

about a month ago

Are Altcoins Undermining Bitcoin's Credibility?

Wonko the Sane There a war on (267 comments)

Bitcoin is a social movement dedicated to the elimination of central banks by providing a superior alternative.

This is obviously of concern to the entire class of people who derive unearned benefits via the operation of central banks. That class has an well-trained group of mercenaries that specialize in identifying, infiltrating, and disrupting social movements which threaten the profits of the ruling classes (see the transformation of Occupy the Fed into Occupy Wall Street into irrelevance) via well documented methods (see Snowden leaks, etc.)

Bitcoin is going to be attacked from every angle until such time until either it or central banks no longer exist.

about a month ago

Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Wonko the Sane Re:Surprise, surprise... (739 comments)

The end does not justify the means.

If you were going to go that route, you shouldn't have lead off by arguing from consequences to begin with.

about 2 months ago

Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Wonko the Sane Re:Surprise, surprise... (739 comments)

This is probably a bad example because the end result was the invention of Git, and so you'd have a hard time these days convincing people that Tridgdell's actions had a bad outcome.

about 2 months ago

Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"

Wonko the Sane Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (739 comments)

If you'd actually read the linked mailing list post (or even just read the quotes of it in the summary) you'd see that none of the abusive comments are aimed at people, they're aimed at the code. He calls the code a bunch of mean, nasty, insulting things, but he doesn't say anything about the people who worked or released that code. I think the distinction is important here. It's not abuse if there's nobody to be abused.

Secondarily: if you read the rest of the thread, he goes on to work with everyone very productively on tracking down the exact nature of the underlying bugs, posts deep analyses of the code generation differences, proposes a patch for his own kernel to work around this GCC bug, and goes and files the upstream Bugzilla report with the GCC team himself. On the whole I'd say this is pretty responsible and cooperative behavior.

What are you doing bringing objective facts into a Slashdot debate, I mean SWJdot?

about 2 months ago

Investor Tim Draper Announces He Won Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

Wonko the Sane Re:Weak != Bad (115 comments)

We'll just have to see, won't we?

about 3 months ago

Investor Tim Draper Announces He Won Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

Wonko the Sane Re:Gambling with exchange rates (115 comments)

I expect exchange rates to move in my favor, but that's just a side benefit. The real advantage of abandoning the Dollar for Bitcoin is that my liquidity and savings are no longer tied up in murder-based blood money.

Bitcoin is a human rights movement.

about 3 months ago

Investor Tim Draper Announces He Won Silk Road Bitcoin Auction

Wonko the Sane Re:Weak != Bad (115 comments)

I'll take my chances with the US dollar thanks. I trust it FAR more than I do bitcoin.

Excellent news.

Seriously, I love hearing that. Not everybody deserves to be a Bitcoin early adopter.

about 3 months ago

Fixing Faulty Genes On the Cheap

Wonko the Sane Re:How long before... (105 comments)

Did you know human livers are a single broken gene away from maufacturing vitamin C from glucose, just like almost every other mammal?

The liver perform every step in the process except the final one, because of a single transacription error that was introduced into the germline back in ancient times

It would be cool to see what happens when they fix that.

about 3 months ago

Workaholism In America Is Hurting the Economy

Wonko the Sane Re:I can stop any time!!! (710 comments)

And what's up with this "In 1942, more than 80 percent of Americans slept seven hours a night or more. Today, 40 percent sleep six hours or less" part?

I had to do some mental math to convert those equilvent comparisons 20% got less than 7 hours in 1942, and today 40% get less than 6.

Why would they make me do mental math when they know I probably didn't get enough sleep last night?

about 3 months ago

Google's Nest Buys Home Monitoring Camera Company Dropcam

Wonko the Sane Re:Not anyone, except, No Shit Arselock? (82 comments)

Could Google be any more transparent as a willing and eager participant of the surveillance state?

It'd be nice if they'd at least pretend to hide what they are doing, so as to not so blatently insult our intelligence.

about 2 months ago

Man Behind Hacks of Bush Family and Other Celebs Indicted In the US

Wonko the Sane So Disappointing (65 comments)

As I was skimming Slashdot I saw a headline that contained "Bush" and "Indicted" and I thought it was for war crimes. My first thought was, "I hope they get Obama too" but sadly, it was not to be.

about 3 months ago

How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

Wonko the Sane Re:Unwritten rule of parking tickets. (286 comments)

It reminds me of an acquaintance who claimed to have worked at a red light camera company, where he bragged about at random times, the traffic signal light could flash red just for 50-100 ms, snap a picture, then change back to green. That way, they could keep the flow of red light camera tickets going but without being caught on driver dash cams with extremely short (or no) yellow lights.

Probably the best way tourists can fight back is to blacklist towns doing those shenanigans, but with larger cities like NYC, that can't really be done.

The best way to fight back is to blacklist everybody who has ever been employed by a red light camera company.

Use LinkedIn to track them down, create a public website where you name and shame them.

If you can find out where they live, confront them at their houses in front of their families and neighbors.

Until there's a social cost which makes acting like an amoral mercenary unprofitable, the number of amoral mercenaries will continue to increase.

about 4 months ago

How Open Government Data Saved New Yorkers Thousands On Parking Tickets

Wonko the Sane Re:If people would fight their tickets... (286 comments)

Unfortunately very little of our "justice" system is geared towards real accountability and equality.

The court system is theater designed to give the peasants the illusion of justice.

It's sole purpose is to increase margins for the ruling class - people who believe they are free require the rulers to expend fewer resources to keep them compliant and productive.

about 4 months ago

The Latest Wave of Cyberattacks On the West Is Coming From the Middle East

Wonko the Sane Re:If you are concerned by this at all... (56 comments)

Is that what's come to now? Anybody who promotes (actual) security best practices is going to be accused of being a terrorist?

about 4 months ago

Slashdot screws up story big time.

Wonko the Sane Situation normal (1 comments)

Slashdot screwing up stories is not news.

about 4 months ago

5-Year-Old Linux Kernel Bug Fixed

Wonko the Sane Re:This is the problem with Linux Security (127 comments)

If the kernel developers allowed bugs to be clearly marked as security vunerabilities, then it would be trivial to use the Git commit history to identify the individuals who are merging these exploits into the kernel.

about 4 months ago



How to use Freenet for social networking

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Wonko the Sane (25252) writes "Freenet has been around for a long time but one of the things that has held it back is a lack of user-friendly documentation. At last, that seems to be changing. This blogger has put together a detailed instruction manual for installing Freenet and setting up secure social networking. Crypto-anarchism is now easy enough for Aunt Tillie."
Link to Original Source

Your Worst Radiological Nightmare

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Wonko the Sane (25252) writes "A dirty bomb attack might be easier to pull off and harder to prevent than the public has been lead to believe:

Think you know about radiological dirty bombs? You know, the usual: easily-detected, a suicide mission for the operator, etc. All of these are comforting things that we are told to believe (usually by some perky blonde after talking about what star is in jail for what). Think again. I've sat on the idea in this article for over two years now since stumbling across hints of it while researching Starving the Monkeys . Recently I’ve come across confirmations from multiple sources that, yes, the idea is relatively widespread. It is a well-kept secret, but only from you. Rest uneasy, the bad guys already know about this idea.


Link to Original Source

TEA PARTY February 1st

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Wonko the Sane writes "Karl Denninger is calling for a modern day tea party on his blog in protest of the federal bailouts and stimulus plan.

It is time for We The People to send a strong message to Washington DC — no more. No more loading our children and grandchildren with debt. No more bailing out speculators and bankers who made bets they knew were unsafe at the time. No more bailing out people who came to Congress to demand the removal of leverage limits, got what they asked for, then blew themselves up with the very leverage they demanded to be able to use.

No more.

Therefore, on February 1st, which is more than enough time for Barack Obama to be seated in his chair in the West Wing, I am recommending an act of peaceful, lawful and yet unmistakable protest.

That is, to mail President Obama one teabag. Nothing dangerous, nothing illegal — just one teabag.

Send one to your Congressman and one to each Senator.


Link to Original Source



Posting limits

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Really Slashdot? You're going to run a story guaranteed to have over a thousand posts but you're going to impose posting limits on subscribers? What am I paying for if I'm suddenly going to be cut out of the conversation and unable to reply?


The reality of resources and population

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 years ago

The reason for this post is to point out that all the doom and gloom about the increasing population is unfounded, meaning that there are real, achievable solutions that don't involve totalitarian government controls or genocidal population reduction measures.

First off, how much will the population grow? If left unchecked will it continue to grow forever?

The answer to the second question is no, not if the developing world continues to industrialize. The answer to the first question is about 9 billion, give or take. As the standard of living increases people voluntarily choose to have less children on average. No coercion is necessary. So to get to a stable (actually slightly declining) population we need to remove barriers that prevent the developing world from reaching western levels.

The primary barrier is energy. All resource shortages can be overcome if sufficient energy is available. We can desalinize seawater and pump it to wherever is needed if the energy is available to do so. We can grow vastly more food than we do now if sufficient water and fertilizer are available. Liquid hydrocarbons (gasoline) can be synthesized from water and carbon dioxide. All these processes are known and understood, they just require energy.

So how much energy do we need? If the US experience is any guide we need about 350 million BTUs per person, per year. So with a worldwide population of 9 billion people that adds up to over 3 quintillion BTUs per year.

Can that much power be generated? Absolutely, but you aren't going to get there with wind turbines and terrestrial solar panels.

There's one element that exists on the planet in sufficient quantities to generate the required power for a long time and that element is thorium. Each ton of thorium generates 1 GW-year (30 trillion BTUs) of energy when used as nuclear fuel, so the world's energy demand could be entirely supplied by 100,000 tons of thorium per year (compare this to the billions of tons of coal we use annually now). With 120 trillion tons estimated to exist in the Earth's crust we've got a long time before we need to start looking somewhere else, like the moon or Mars.

So the solution to the population crisis, energy crisis and pollution crisis is to stop pushing fake solutions that won't do anything except cause misery for billions of people and let us use state-of-the-art (1960s era) nuclear technology to produce abundant clean energy for everyone.


Aggregating contacts is hard.

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I'm writing this mainly to get my own thoughts straight before I take a stab at implementing this myself.

Merging and synchronizing contact information between all the various services that a person might use appears to be to be an unsolved problem. I've looked high and low and I can not find a single piece of software that will:

  1. Maintain a definitive list of meta-contacts and mappings (i.e. map a Gmail contact to a Facebook contact)
  2. Import data from every service I use
  3. Automatically export information that missing from one member of a metacontact but present in another member (when the underlying service supports this)
  4. Gives me means to both access and edit this information both on my PC and on my mobile phone
  5. Present an editable, unified view that eliminates redundant and obsolete data.

Accessing the data is the easy part. Most services have API functions that let you access it in either a read-only or read-write format. In some cases though all you have to work with is a CSV file.

So for this to work I need to a way to gather all the required information, put in into relational form and find/create the appropriate mappings

This is where it gets tricky. Very few software projects properly handle contact information. The data model needs to include all the metadata about the contact that you care about and meta-metadata. A person can have an unlimited number of email addresses, for example. Any particular email address might be a home address or work address. It might be an active address that you should send mail to or it might be an old address that is no longer in use (but you want to keep it associated with that person so you know who all those old emails came from)

So creating a robust relational structure in your database is non-trivial, but solvable. The hard part is wrangling the data from the other sources into relational form. Most data services do not have a unique, invariant identifier for each contact. Each and every attribute is subject to change. Usually matching based on name or email address will work but contacts can and do change both of these from time to time.

Once you get all the information pulled into the database now it's time to eliminate duplicate information by merging all those subcontacts into their respective metacontacts. Each subcontact should map to exactly one metacontact. The metacontact itself should NOT have any attribute information (name, email address, phone number, etc) directly associated with it to prevent data duplication.

Once you get the subcontacts merged into metacontacts now you should merge the metadata to eliminate duplication. The easiest way to do this is to aggregate all the information from every subcontact and display anything that not a duplicate. If Facebook and Google both say the John Doe has a email of then we only need to display that once. If they have different email addresses then we should display both. Finding duplicates isn't always easy: +1 (800) 555-1212 and 8005551212 are actually the same number (from the point of view of a caller in the US) but a simple text search will not reveal that. The former would be better to display so ideally you'd just update the latter data source, but what if it's read only? In that case you need a way to prevent certain subcontact attributes from being pull into the metacontact. In addition certain attributes shouldn't allow duplicates. If a person only has one canonical name, then should you use their Twitter username, their Facebook user name or the name stored in their associated Gmail contact? The user must decide and the database needs to store this choice.

So after we're all done with this we'll have a nice, unified view of all contact information. This unified view should be editable and any changes made to the underlying data should be pushed out to all services which are not read-only. In the case of the read-only services the stale data should not roll up into the metacontact, unless and until the underlying data changes. Example: someone in their Facebook list their phone number as 800-555-1212 but I edit this number to include the country code because I want to be able to call him from outside the US: +1 (800) 555-1212. This change can be pushed to Gmail but not to Facebook. So from now on the mapping between metacontacts and subcontacts should exclude the mobile number from the Facebook subcontact, unless my friend changes his phone number on Facebook to something else. If that happens the new number should roll up into the metacontact.

Some services do not support attribute metadata. A CSV file might just have a "address" field without specifying if it is a home or work address, physical or mailing, active or deprecated, etc. So this meta-metadata will need to be stored in the database itself. Meta-metadata as possible should be synchronized to the maximum extent supported by the underlying service.

I think I've got enough there to keep me busy for a while. I'm going to try to build a proof of concept of this but I may not get very far before I throw my hands up in disgust or someone else implements it (maybe Akonadi, but I haven't seen anything that indicates that it will have robust metacontact functionality)


Giving all users database server access by default.

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Especially with KDE applications there is a need for each user on a system to have access to a relational database to get full functionality. Usually this is provided by MySQL. Every database server for linux that I know of has its own concept of usernames and passwords which must be configured seperately from the users on the system because traditionally a database server served clients over the network, not local users.

Is there any way to set up MySQL or a MySQL-compatable database that gets username and password information from PAM and stores data in each user's home directory? This would make database access work just like mail delivery, as long as a user exists in the system and has a ~/.mysql_data directory he or she has full access to any database stored in that directory with no per-user configuration required.

It seems to work for mail, why not for databases also?



Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I remember seeing this article when it was first posted but I really didn't pay attention to it. Now I wish I had. I'm on the second week of a month-long introductory CrossFit course and it's the first time in my life that I actually enjoy intense exercise. Based on what I've seen in just one week it really does live up to the hype.


Which company to blame?

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 years ago

If I'm having a problem getting my phone to work with my car's audio system which company should I contact first?

T-Mobile (mobile provider)?
Ford (car manufacturer)?
Motorola (phone manufacturer)?
Microsoft (Sync)?
Google (Android)?


Eerily Quiet

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 years ago

After all the political stories that Slashdot posted on the front page last year they don't mention the special election in Massachusetts today at all.

What's up with that?


WTF is wrong with our government?

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Why is the State Department working to get the former president of Honduras reinstated when the official report from the Law Library of Congress states:

V. Was the removal of Honduran President Zelaya legal, in accordance with Honduran
constitutional and statutory law?

Available sources indicate that the judicial and legislative branches applied constitutional
and statutory law in the case against President Zelaya in a manner that was judged by the
Honduran authorities from both branches of the government to be in accordance with the
Honduran legal system.

Why are we paying for department of expert lawers to answer these kind of questions when the answers get summarily ignored? Should we be worried that the our president is supporting an executive who attempted to subvert the constitution of his country?


Batteries, Gasoline and Math

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I got some flack on the article about the Teals Roadster for the statement that batteries need to improve by about a factor of 20 before electric cars will have the same long distance capabilities as gas powered cars so I've decided to publish a more complete explanation.

For the purposes of this exercise we'll consider a hypothetical 4-door sedan. This particular model seats 5 adults and has a large trunk capable of carrying the luggage that a family of five needs for a road trip. It has a 16 gallon gas tank and can travel 400 (highway) miles on a tank while carrying that family and their luggage. Finally, this car is equipped with a modular engine that can be removed and replaced with an electric propulsion system. Likewise the gas tank can be removed and replaced with a battery (we want to make this comparison apples-to-apples)

The efficiency of this car when powered by gasoline is about 20%. When it is powered by electricity it is about 90%. Efficiency in this context means tank(battery) to wheel. Since we are comparing the ability of these devices to store energy the efficiency of pulling crude oil out of the ground and getting into the tank as gasoline, as well as the efficiency of generating and transmitting electricity and charging the battery are outside the scope.

First let's figure our how much energy is necessary to move this family of five and their luggage 400 miles on the highway. We know that it the engine consumes 16 gallons of gasoline, which contains 1.9 gigajoules of energy. Since we also know that the engine wasted 80% of that energy the actual amount of work necessary to move this vehicle 400 miles at highway speed is 387 megajoules. In order for our car to make the exact same trip at the exact same speed on electric power, we need a battery that can store 426 megajoules (90% efficient).

How big will that battery be? To start with lets convert 426 megajoules to electrical units: 188 kilowatt-hours. Using the most optimistic numbers we have for lithium-ion batteries today gives us an energy density of 160 watt-hours/kg and 360 watt-hours/liter. Our battery will weigh 2,600 pounds (compared to 97 pounds for gasoline) and take up 138 gallons worth of space. Even if we assume that the frame of the vehicle can handle the extra weight of this battery there is no way you are going to fit it, five adults and their suitcases on your trip.

Are electric vehicles great for getting around in town? Yes. Are they ready to replace fossil fuels for long-haul travel? Not yet. When you see that batteries can store 4 kilowatt-hours per kg and 3 kilowatt-hours per liter then you'll know that batteries have caught up with gasoline in terms of vehicle energy storage.


Why do they keep breaking Slashdot?

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Ever since they added comment moderation to this site I have always browsed at -1 threshold.

Now apparently this is not possible anymore with the new discussion system. I can no longer move the little slider all the way down to show all comments regardless of rating.




Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I've been reading Slashdot for close to a decade now, and in the last week I've got my first ever foes.

Now I'm curious as to why...


New Hampshire legislature debates secession

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee of the New Hampshire legislature has introduced a resolution specifying certain actions of the federal government which would nullify the constitution of the United States. They also call upon the other states in the union to adopt similar resolutions.

That any Act by the Congress of the United States, Executive Order of the President of the United States of America or Judicial Order by the Judicatories of the United States of America which assumes a power not delegated to the government of United States of America by the Constitution for the United States of America and which serves to diminish the liberty of the any of the several States or their citizens shall constitute a nullification of the Constitution for the United States of America by the government of the United States of America.

That should any such act of Congress become law or Executive Order or Judicial Order be put into force, all powers previously delegated to the United States of America by the Constitution for the United States shall revert to the several States individually. Any future government of the United States of America shall require ratification of three quarters of the States seeking to form a government of the United States of America and shall not be binding upon any State not seeking to form such a government; and

That copies of this resolution be transmitted by the house clerk to the President of the United States, each member of the United States Congress, and the presiding officers of each State's legislature.


It's 2009... why does Jabber still suck?

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The Past:
I played around with Jabber back in 1999/2000 when it was still new. In installed a server, set up some transports and played around with the clients of the time (I can't remember which ones). While things were initially promising I found that the system had no concept of a meta-contact. If I had a friend with Yahoo, ICQ, and MSN accounts then I had three seperate contacts. So I gave up on it and forgot about Jabber for several years.

The Present:
I don't use instant messaging much, but my wife does every day. Her family and friends live in another country where most people do not have computers in their homes. Every day her mother will go to a local internet cafe and log in to MSN (Live messenger) in order to use the webcam. Fortunately there is a MSN-compatiable Linux client (aMSN) that supports webcams (but not sound). My wife doesn't understand why she can't use voice chat to talk with her family, and wants me to install Windows so she can use the "normal messenger".

So by now Jabber/XMPP should be ready, right? The audio/video protocol Jingle was released a few years ago by Google and several IM clients support various forms of audio/video chat so by now surely all the pieces are put together...


I decided this morning to study up on Jabber again. Fully expecting to find enlightenment, I open up a browser and search for "gentoo jabber howto". apparently there's not much activity. I dig a little deeper and find that wikipedia has some information. Now there are seven server programs to choose from. Some projects are dead, some are commercial, a few are written in java and ...erlang?

jabberd-2 seems to be the successor of the server program I used before. It does support transports for the network I am most interested in (pymsn-t). Unfortunately pymsn-t seems to be unmaintained. On the plus side we have a someone wanting to continue development.

Digging deeper into that thread, someone actually suggests that a XMPP user should be able to send files to a MSN client user, but not receive them in order to push adoption of XMPP! Good idea - deliberately make a program feature-incomplete to subtly break backwards compatability with older programs. (where have I heard that before?)

So I'm back to square one. My wife can do video chat, but not voice chat with her family. No solution exists that will let me install one XMPP client and communicate everyone, regardless of the network they use (even if I'm willing to run the server myself). Maybe in a few more years.


Quotes to remember

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 5 years ago

There needs to be an equivelant of for memoriable slashdot quotes.

Possibly, however doctors and scientists tend to have stricter standards of proof than "making shit up" or "google searching".


Soccer moms will be the downfall of western society. Hordes of unvaccinated kids that live in super sterile conditions so they never develop an actual immune system that then get crammed into overcrowded daycares cause mommy and daddy have to work four jobs to pay for the house, white picket fence and the "think of the children" special edition SUV will be the source of the next great pandemic.



Advertising jingles

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 5 years ago

the theory of advertising is that even if you don't like the ad, that it makes an association between the brand and the product.

Those jingles are powerful, I still remember old one from years ago.

Like last night when I drove past a gas station and heard this in my mind: "Quick Trip makes today's pancaaaaaakes"



Is this a Turing test?

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Dorothy: Hello XXXX.
Dorothy: Welcome to HP Total Care for Pavilion Notebooks. My name is Dorothy. How may I assist you today?
XXXXXXXXX: How do I find a compatable docking station for this model of laptop?
Dorothy: I understand that you want the docking station for your notebook model. Am I correct?
Dorothy: Sure, I will help you with this regard.
Dorothy: To proceed further, could you give me the serial and product number of the notebook?
XXXXXXXXX: **********
Dorothy: Thank you for the information.
Dorothy: Could I have a few minutes of your time while I look at the computer's configuration in my database?
Dorothy: Could I have 2-3 minutes of time to check for the exact information?
Dorothy: Thank you for your time and patience.
Dorothy: I apologize for the delay.
XXXXXXXXX: no problem
Dorothy: Let me explain in this regard.
Dorothy: As you notebook does not have the expansion port to your notebook.
Dorothy: However it is not possible to connect your notebook to expansion base.
XXXXXXXXX: thank you
Dorothy: as I searched the entired database.
XXXXXXXXX: sorry for the inconvience


Slashdot search suckage

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Why is Google better at finding old Slashdot stories than Slashdot is?

I was trying to find some old story I remembered about some TV executive that said that all people who skip commercials are thieves.

I typed my query into Google: PVR commercial theft

Result: The exact story I was looking for was the top result.

Try typing "PVR commercial theft" into the slashdot search bar and see what happens...


Poor choice of words

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 7 years ago

My uncle is an assistant for a senator in a state legislature. Recently, they enacted a bill requiring government documents to be stored and transmitted in "electronic format."

Unfortunately the state agencies complied by scanning all the paper forms into PDF format. So now, he and his colleges are drafting a new bill and want to clarify that the electronic documents must be capable of being edited. They don't want to specify a particular document format, to prevent getting locked in to a specific technology.

I can't think of the specific term he's looking for, so I'm asking Slashdot. Here's your change to influence the law of a rather large state. What term would describe electronic documents that can have their data manipulated, instead of storing it as a graphical black box?



Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Economics is, at root, the study of incentives: how people get what they want, or need, especially when other people want or need the same thing. Economists love incentives. They love to dream them up and enact them, study them and tinker with them. The typical economist believes the world has not yet invented a problem that he can not fix if given a free hand to design the proper incentive scheme. His solution may not always be pretty - it may involve coercion or exorbitant penalties or the violation of civil liberties - but the original problem, rest assured, will be fixed.


Web 2.0 here I come

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 7 years ago I'm falling down the slippery slope. I just added another slashdot friend for no particular reason, and now I'm making another journal entry. Soon, I'll be completely overcome by the dark side. Mostly this entry is here so my most-visible journal entry doesn't have "fuck" in it.


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  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>