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Comments

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ask slashdot: tight firewall for brand-new linux user

Wonko the Sane Shorewall (2 comments)

Shorewall meets requirements 1-3 for sure, with 4 being open to interpretatin.

about two weeks ago
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Fake PGP Keys For Crypto Developers Found

Wonko the Sane Re:The chain of trust is broken. (110 comments)

That is exactly the attitide that keeps personal cryptography in the usability dark ages.

Congratulations, you're personally helping to reduce the security of billions of internet users around the world.

about a month ago
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Fake PGP Keys For Crypto Developers Found

Wonko the Sane Re:The chain of trust is broken. (110 comments)

The chain of trust is broken because cryptographers, a class of developers with a long track record of being utterly incapable of building software that's usable for regular humans, has been left in charge of building iit.

When the problem is taken up by other, more UX knowledgable, developers we'll get a solution to the problem.

about a month ago
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Startup Employees As an Organized Labor Group

Wonko the Sane Re:Good luck with that (107 comments)

You, sir, are a buffoon. A buffoon who allows families like mine - private school educated, holidays around the world, continuing to live off investments like my parents for the last 2-3 decades - to exploit dullards like yourself. You want something better, you do need to organise your labour. And I am quite okay if you do, because I could have way less and still enjoy a very comfortable lifestyle. As it is, though, you are too easy to fool into giving me even more.

Thanks for the laugh. I needed that.

about a month ago
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Startup Employees As an Organized Labor Group

Wonko the Sane Good luck with that (107 comments)

"Last Friday may turn out to have marked the beginning of Silicon Valley's organized labor movement" should read "Last Friday may turn out to have marked the end of Silicon Valley." Once "organized labor" successfully infects an industry, it turns in to a dead industry walking.

Since tech startups are particularly location-independent, expect to see more of them started elsewhere (and outside the United States entirely) and fewer of them to start in Silicon Valley.

about a month ago
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Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

Wonko the Sane Re:it **is** outrageous (299 comments)

How will stop voting improve the situation?

It will reveal the truth: absolutely nothing will change regardless of if anyone votes or not.

about a month ago
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Embarrassing Stories Shed Light On US Officials' Technological Ignorance

Wonko the Sane Re:it **is** outrageous (299 comments)

stop voting for Republicans

You almost had something useful to say here until you ruined it with the third word.

The correct answer is to just stop voting.

The people whose religion involves dancing around carve tree stumps to makes the rains start at least get some exercise out of the deal. Voting just wastes your time and attention.

about a month ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

And this is why I don't like talking with religious people.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

What's really tragic is that you call me an asshole for telling you that Santa Claus isn't real, Jesus isn't watching you masturbate from heaven, and the Constitution is just a moldy old piece of paper instead of being mad at all the liars and charlatans in the world who infect children with dangerous mythology in the first place.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

It comes from the will of the majority.

Ok, how do I know this "will of the majority exists?" Can I measure it? Can I talk to the will of the majority to ask what it wants, or do I have to rely on priests^H^H^H^H^H^H^H politicians to interpret it for me and tell me what it is?

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

It is a Token or symbol that the power to govern was given by the will of the people.

People create Governments, not the other way around.

I admit that your religion has a pretty creation myth, but it's got as much to do with reality as a tree stump carving depicting that the sun rises because a giant space coyote eats the sun at night and vomits it up in the morning.

If it was truly the case that governments are formed by "the people", instead of being violently and deceptively imposed by a ruling class onto their subjects, don't you think it's a bit odd that George Washington had to raise an army signifigantly larger than the one used to expell the British in order to neutralize popular resistance to that government's actions?

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

It's not the paper itself that grants them their power, but the agreement behind it. If the physical paper the constitution is written on were destroyed, the constitution itself would still be in effect.

Now we're getting somewhere.

If the Supreme Court gets their power from an agreement, who are the parties involved in that agreement?

Spoiler alert: your answer is invalid if it posits that dead people are the source of the power (dead people can't do anything because they are dead), or if it includes people who, if they were all hit by a bus tomorrow, would not reduce the Supreme Court's capacity to enforce their rulings.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

That old piece of paper circumscribes the governing law of the land. The Supreme Court absolutely is bound by it. In fact their authority comes from it and it is their solemn duty to interpret it and use it to throw out improper legislation.

You understand that words mean things, right?

When you say that Supreme Court is "absolutely bound" by something, that's a testible hypothesis, no less so than if I said a brick is absolutely bound by gravity. If a brick could just decide to hover in midair then that would falsify my claim that it was bound by gravity.

Likewise, if you claim that a piece of paper binds people, and those people can be observed to do whatever they want regardless of what is written on said paper, and the paper responds to this violation by doing absolutely nothing at all since it is, in fact, just a piece of paper, then by what possible universe could you say that piece of paper is binding them?

To all those who would cavalierly tear up the Constitution, beware the wrath of patriots.

That would be hilarious if it wasn't so pathetically sad.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

My condolences for your Tourette Syndrome. That looks like a particularlly nasty case.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Could someone answer this? (520 comments)

Who derive all their power from the old piece of paper sitting in a museum. You'd be funny if you weren't quite so tragic.

What's tragic is that in the 21st century we still live in a world where people believe in fantasy.

That fact that you can say that some people derive power from a piece of paper in apparent seriousness is the tragedy.

I don't want to live on a planet where people believe in magic paper.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (520 comments)

"We" is the people of the United State of America. What makes us special is that we've granted to ourselves the power to govern the country.

You've disingenuopusly defined "people of the United State of America" as being "everyone who agrees with me."

There is no question that we ought to govern the country, the only question is how.

Just saying that doesn't make it true.

Maybe you mean "I don't want anyone to questions whether or not we should govern, because the outcome of that debate may not turn out in my favor."

You'd give unrestricted rights to businesses to do what they want. Id restrict businesses from acting in ways detrimental to their customers or to the economy as a whole.

You've granted unlimited power to self-appointed rulers who presume to know the unknowable while pretending to rule "for the benefit of society as a whole."

Even worse, it's not even original in its deception. Just the same old tired trumped-up justifications for power that tyrants and their apoligists have been using for centuries. You could at least try to come up with something new for a change.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Internet access should be a socialized service (520 comments)

I don't understand why we don't just restrict companies to do the thing they're supposed to do.

I don't understand why people can publicly advocate fascism and expect to not be called out on it.

Who is "we" and what makes them so special such that it's legitmate for them to give orders to other people?

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

Wonko the Sane Re:Let me get this straight (520 comments)

Your explaination is reasonable and reveals the headline, and 99% of the comments on this article, as being inaccurate and misguided.

I predict it will be ignored because the audience is more interested reasons to scream at each other and push agendas instead of facts.

about 2 months ago
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Facebook Debuts New Gender Options, Pronoun Choices

Wonko the Sane Re:What's the difference? (462 comments)

Nothing. They all have mental disorders relating to self image, usually due to being molested as a kid. Oops, did I just drop a big bag of reality on the discussion?

This. I'll never understand why when someone "thinks they're the opposite gender" we don't try and fix their mind to match their body but instead are willing to send them through some incredibly dangerous and life-shortening medical procedures to do the exact opposite.

$$$

Also, there's far too much child sexual abuse in the world, with a disturbingly high fraction of they population complicit in one way or another, for society to talk honestly about the topic. There is a very vocal minority with an extremely strong incentive to divert any discussions away from that area.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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How to use Freenet for social networking

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  about 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
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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
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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

Journals

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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?

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The reality of resources and population

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 3 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.

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Aggregating contacts is hard.

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 3 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 jdoe@example.com 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)

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Giving all users database server access by default.

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 3 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?

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CrossFit

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 3 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.

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Which company to blame?

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 3 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)?

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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?

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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?

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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.

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Why do they keep breaking Slashdot?

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 4 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.

Bullshit.

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Foes?

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...

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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.

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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...

No.

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".

...so 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.

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Quotes to remember

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

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

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

-st0rmshad0w

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.

-Duradin

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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"

Um...

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Is this a Turing test?

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

Dorothy: Hello XXXX.
XXXXXXXXX: Hello
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?
XXXXXXXXX: yes
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: **********
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?
XXXXXXXXX: OK
Dorothy: Could I have 2-3 minutes of time to check for the exact information?
XXXXXXXXX: ok
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: ok
XXXXXXXXX: thank you
Dorothy: as I searched the entired database.
XXXXXXXXX: sorry for the inconvience

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Slashdot search suckage

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 6 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:

site:slashdot.org 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...

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Poor choice of words

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 6 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?

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Freakonomics

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 6 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.

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Web 2.0 here I come

Wonko the Sane Wonko the Sane writes  |  more than 6 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.

...
...shit

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