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Comments

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The Upcoming Windows 8.1 Apocalypse

Workaphobia That's funny (293 comments)

Quite interesting that Windows Vista and 7 are going the way of XP so soon.

about 4 months ago
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Siphons Work Due To Gravity, Not Atmospheric Pressure: Now With Peer Review

Workaphobia Re:Somebody thought it was atmospheric pressure? (360 comments)

I'll bet you're one of the guys that likes to "correct" us all when we refer to experiencing centrifugal force while riding a roller coaster.

about 4 months ago
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Some Sites That Blue Coat Blocks Under "Pornography"

Workaphobia Time traveler's dilemma (119 comments)

Quick, the cyborgs are hot on my tail -- when am I? Did I make it back to 2023? Or is it 2003? Let's see... Bennet Haselton is criticizing internet filtering... Dammit, that doesn't narrow the range in the slightest!

about 5 months ago
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Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

Workaphobia Re:Illegal to (519 comments)

Indeed, and to avoid this illegality, women should be required by law to emit a Peace-Cry as they walk, lest any man be accidentally caught in their wake.

about 6 months ago
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Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

Workaphobia Re:Illegal to (519 comments)

The other bizarre thing is that a distinction between nude and not nude exists in the first place. Why does the law care whether genitalia are showing, unless that is specifically written into the statute?

about 6 months ago
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Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

Workaphobia Re:Illegal to (519 comments)

What surprises me is that it is presumably illegal to stick your head underneath a woman's skirt without her permission, and yet the same does not apply if you're using a camera. If there's no right to privacy, is there at least a right to personal space?

about 6 months ago
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Scientists Calculate Most Precise Measurement of Electron's Mass

Workaphobia Re:I find myself wondering... (59 comments)

Precision without accuracy is meaningless, hence the "significant digits" we were all taught in science class. Mentioning accuracy when bragging about precision would be redundant. Why split hairs?

about 6 months ago
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South Carolina Woman Jailed After Failing To Return Movie Rented Nine Years Ago

Workaphobia Obnoxious (467 comments)

Page is unreadable due to obstrusive ads, including sound ads. -1 would not click again.

about 6 months ago
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Majority of Young American Adults Think Astrology Is a Science

Workaphobia Astrology or astronomy? (625 comments)

Without RTFA, was there any attempt to remind survey participants that astrology is the one with animal symbols, and astronomy is the one with black holes? If not, this isn't measuring acceptance of astrology, so much as measuring name recognition.

about 7 months ago
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EA's Dungeon Keeper Ratings Below a 5 Go To Email Black Hole

Workaphobia Re:Works for Slashdot as well... (367 comments)

I seem to recall the exact same thing happening to Digg. Does that mean I'll see you on reddit in a few months?

about 7 months ago
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EA's Dungeon Keeper Ratings Below a 5 Go To Email Black Hole

Workaphobia Re:Works for Slashdot as well... (367 comments)

Meh. I've taken a long enough break from slashdot that an entire decimal place of userids has come and gone without my noticing. Another, more eternal break won't be so bad. If they want to destroy comments, and hence destroy the site, I'll be happy to vacate.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Distributed Online Storage For Families?

Workaphobia Re:Not with a bang, but with a Beta. (168 comments)

What the hell? I don't know what that social media B2B page you linked to is, but how can anyone read something with font so small and a giant, conspicuous, two-second-scrolling hype banner?

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Workaphobia Re:The title says it all. (2219 comments)

Meh, slashdot comments aren't bad, but they're not great either. Specialized subcommunities on reddit -- the ones with strict moderators -- do fairly well.

about 7 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

Workaphobia Re:The title says it all. (2219 comments)

I didn't expect to be enlightened by reading anything in the comments, but you proved me wrong. This is a point I always knew but didn't consciously appreciate until you said it. I don't come to slashdot for the crappily written summaries, I come for the sometimes-accurate comments that enhance the discussion.

about 7 months ago
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Layoffs At Now-Private Dell May Hit Over 15,000 Staffers

Workaphobia Re:Come on (287 comments)

I read the summaries. I come here to argue about how bad the summaries are.

Bring it on!

about 7 months ago
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Layoffs At Now-Private Dell May Hit Over 15,000 Staffers

Workaphobia Come on (287 comments)

Jesus, the summary's written like an indictment of capitalism. "The only thing that matters now is money", as if that weren't the stated purpose of every company. Dell's not a charity created for its employees. And even if it were, can you argue that this wouldn't be in the best interest of the remaining ones, so that the company still exists a few years from now?

I get the whole Let's-hate-on-private-capital bent. Sure, Mitt Romney was a tool. But you're really not helping your credibility with this Corporations-are-evil hippyism.

about 7 months ago
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First New Generic Top Level Domains Opening

Workaphobia Re:Just saying... (198 comments)

No, it's bad for businesses. It means they have to invest funds in protecting their brand. Just like how the .xxx domain people blanketed television with ads, saying how they'll extort your non-porn business by registering your name under their TLD.

about 7 months ago
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CmdrTaco Launches Trove, a Curated News Startup

Workaphobia Re:No Sign-in (221 comments)

That layout looks like the stuff I skip over when I go to any news linked news site. If it had an unscrollable fixed background it would be twitter.

about 7 months ago
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CmdrTaco Launches Trove, a Curated News Startup

Workaphobia Re:Slashdot.. (221 comments)

Is it unfair for slashdot to be "American slanted"? I've always thought of it as an American site. Does the fact that it is available in other countries obligate it to give them a proportional share of the news?

about 7 months ago
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CmdrTaco Launches Trove, a Curated News Startup

Workaphobia Re:Nice CSS/Javascript on your reddit clone (221 comments)

I agree that the notion of news feeds filtered by interest is essentially the same as reddit. But I'll take this opportunity to bicker with you about /. vs reddit.

What annoys me most about /. is the poor quality of many of the submissions that make it through, despite (or because of) the fact that it's curated. Sure, there's the almost mandatory trope of closing a summary with a rhetorical question. But often the whole summary, or even the news story, is crap -- FUD, nonsense, or obviously loaded rhetoric that wouldn't even make it over the radar on reddit.

Of course, reddit has its own cliches, some of which make me want to tear my hair out, but that is partially mitigated by unsubscribing from the worst offending subreddits. (Initial customization to leave the default subs is required if you want to avoid becoming suicidal.) But the crap stories that make it through there are at least *interesting*. Sure, they may blatantly appeal to reader biases, especially in politically oriented subs, but at least you know what you get from looking at the headline and know not to read any further.

The crap that gets through on reddit is successful for a reason -- there must be an underlying "quality" in the submission that appeals to at least some large collective of users. Whereas the crap that gets through on slashdot is often a complete fluke.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

Workaphobia hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Argh! A Geek tragedy, complete with DeusExMachina.

Workaphobia Workaphobia writes  |  about 8 years ago

http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=06/08/22/2124255

Our story begins with a skim over the day's Slashdot headlines. The regulars are all present: Government X adopts OSS/ODF, Mr. Nobody gives a loose overview of security problem Y, and SCO does transparently underhanded deed Z. Yet one topic in particular grabs my attention...

Being a Weird Al fan, and well-aware of the problems he has collecting from his label, my mind registers the topic both as a must-Read-More and as another chapter to take note of in the long saga of digital music rights. With significant anticipation, I add it to my other fifteen or so open tabs and proceed to work my way through my article reading queue.

I (grudgingly) visit myspace, but something's amiss. There is no download link! Nothing in the navigation menu, the news posts, or the comments make mention of where I can obtain the song, yet visitors proceed to comment on how much they enjoyed it. Looking for an alternate link, I return to Slashdot, only to find more reactions without mention of any download difficulties. And so I begin to worry irrationally: "I'm the only one in the world who can't listen to Weird Al!" I've had usability issues with myspace before, but normally after a minute or so of misguided clicking I'm able to stumble upon something that hints at actual content. I try two other domains, weirdal.com and dontdownloadthissong.com, only to find the former hopelessly slashdotted and the latter unusable. My frustration continues to build.

I reflect that perhaps it is a browser compatability issue - I am using Konqueror after all - and try my luck with firefox. After configuring it to *not* attempt DNS queries over IPv6, that I might reach the content I so desperately seek this century, I find that myspace persists to mock me. It is as if some divine administrative force knows my IP address and has modified the web server specifically to torment me.

I search for torrent files - first through links from kind slashdotters looking to boost their karma, and when that fails, via KTorrent's integrated search plugin. Bittorrent.com? No matches. Isohunt.com? Nada. Mininova? Bytenova? Torrentspy?! My heart races as I continue to exhaust the list of built-in known search engines, until... Aha! The Pirate Bay has found one match, uploaded a mere twenty-two minutes ago.

But to use a torrent from the most infamous peer-to-peer site in existence, what would that make me? Is the torrent legal? Just because Weird Al chooses to distribute it on his webpage doesn't mean he releases that right to others. I'm sure under these circumstances he couldn't possibly mind, but not having heard of the song's existence prior to reading Slashdot, I simply do not know the record label's stance on the matter, or whether they even have partial rights over this particular mp3. But it does not matter - I must have the song!

The irony - that I am bittorrenting a free-as-in-beer song that possesses a satirical name mocking filesharing litigation, and am potentially committing a copyright violation in the process - is not lost on me. My idealistic side taunts the RIAA, "I just DARE you to try to sue me over this, my only infringement!" My pessimistically pragmatic side notes that the unusual circumstances would make no difference, as I would be forced to settle, and never see my day in court anyway.

I emerge from my digression to the present.
No peers or seeders. For the moment, the music industry and other enemies of Peer-to-Peer breathe a sigh of relief.

Then it occurs to me that the song might be unreachable to those who have not installed the dreaded Flash Plugin. But why? A slashdot commenter mentions that the song is indeed in the mp3 format, so it is not as if my lack of such a player could possibly prevent me from obtaining this song. For what kind of sick madman would consign a publically-downloadable mp3 to the clutches of a proprietary system and that system alone?

As a rule, I have abstained from using Flash on my desktop's Gentoo installation. This self-denial is due to a combination of factors: Flash's outdated linux versions, its tendency to make my browser unstable, its potential difficulty to install (and configure working audio), and of course, its closed-source nature. Given how most of the Flash content out there consists of ads, or otherwise pages that I would not wish to view anyway, I considered it a mostly favorable sacrifice.

But Weird Al is easily worth sacrificing my sacrifice! Whether the middle-man in my deal with the proverbial devil is The Pirate Bay or Adobe Flash, I must have his song, no matter the cost to my ideals. And so I click on the gateway into the proprietary plugin, and hover my mouse over the "Next" button belonging to the "I agree" EULA page. I can almost feel my clockspeed quicken to keep up with my heartbeat...

I click.

The plugin downloads, yet fails to install. It is as if some heavenly force is giving me one last chance to redeem myself. I scoff at the opportunity and continue my decent into darkness at full speed, this time seeking out the download for manual installation.

Moving the tarball to firefox's directory -
tar -xzvf'ing it -
Poised to execute the installer, when all of a sudden -

Ktorrent notifies me, with all the surreal nonchalance it can muster through its small corner popup, that my torrent has completed.

And so I open the directory, and see an mp3 and a lyrics file staring me in the face as my world begins to rematerialize. A sort of tranquil, blissful grin comes across my face as I fire up mplayer and enjoy Weird Al's satire...

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