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Comments

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Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

alexo Alpha children wear grey (366 comments)

Genetically modifying such genes is unlikely to happen any time soon

Alpha children wear grey. They work much harder than we do, because they're so frightfully clever. I'm really awfuly glad I'm a Beta, because I don't work so hard. And then we are much better than the Gammas and Deltas. Gammas are stupid. They all wear green, and Delta children wear khaki. Oh no, I don't want to play with Delta children. And Epsilons are still worse. They're too stupid to be able to read or write. Besides they wear black, which is such a beastly colour. I'm so glad I'm a Beta.

about two weeks ago
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Battery Breakthrough: Researchers Claim 70% Charge In 2 Minutes, 20-Year Life

alexo Re:No mention on capacity though (395 comments)

85 KW*hr in 5 minutes is about a megawatt of power. Even at 10,000 volts, you're talking 100 amps.

That's not nearly enough. I need three orders of magnitude more than that to power my flux capacitor.

about two weeks ago
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DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

alexo Re:How is this not identity theft? (191 comments)

I am fairly certain I would be in jail if I committed the same crime.

Because you are little people.

about two weeks ago
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Could Maroney Be Prosecuted For Her Own Hacked Pictures?

alexo Re:Story title needs a warning! (274 comments)

I didn't realize she was under-age when I saw the headline. A few quick Google searches later, and I'd unwittingly accessed what counts as child porn.

Serious, Slashdot editors, this title needs a fix to include a warning, like instantly.

The title does not need fixing.
Your idiotic laws do. Like instantly.

about three weeks ago
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Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

alexo Re:Don't complain... (212 comments)

There's a "Left" in the US?

about a month ago
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Australian Senate Introduces Laws To Allow Total Internet Surveillance

alexo Re:Australia voted... for a kick in the nuts. (212 comments)

Pull the knife out first. Then ask him to throw down his gun and fight like a man

When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk.

about a month ago
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CBC Warns Canadians of "US Law Enforcement Money Extortion Program"

alexo Re:These stories make me feel sick to my stomach (462 comments)

I hate stuff like this. I hate it because it is crooked and evil. I hate it because there is very little recourse for the average citizen to make against an attack like this.

But you won't do anything to stop it.

Contact your congress reps, local and federal. Try to get them to change the law. What is happening in these stories should be illegal.

They won't do anything to stop it either.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

alexo Re:Lua[0]? (729 comments)

It is recent computer scientists that started

Not "computer scientists". Just C programmers. The first two languages designed, Fortran and Cobol, start at 1. Algol('68) and all the languages descended from or influenced by it let the programmer set the starting bound (this includes Ada, Pascal and all the other Wirth languages).

Pretty much every language that uses 0 as the only allowable starting index is either descended from C, or borrowed large amounts of its syntax from it. (Some BASICs use 0, but that language is so egregiously unstandardized that its tough to say anything about it with certainty).

That's because C does not have arrays, they are just syntactic sugar for pointers. array[index] is another way of writing *(pointer + offset)
Therefore: a[5] == *(a+5) == *(5+a) == 5[a]

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Are the Strangest Features of Various Programming Languages?

alexo Re:Null Terminated Strings (729 comments)

I believe none of you actually programmed in C. A string terminated by \0 can be represented by a single pointer and an have any length. You can also easily let the string keep growing (until the allocated memory is finished.) That is the epitome of KISS. If you use an 8 byte character at the beginning then you are limited to a string length of 255. A structure with a length and a string pointer (or a character array) is much more complex and that would reflect in more complex library functions.

Some of us have been programming in C for 3 decades and have gained some sense of perspective. While the choice of using null-termination vs. explicit size may have been the correct one given the '60s and '70s state of the art, it is a poor one today.

Null-terminated strings have several serious deficiencies:
They cannot be used to store binary data, requiring another, redundant set of functions (with separate lengths)
Similarly, they cannot be used to store UTF-16
They are less efficient. In order to find the length of the string, get it's last character(s) or append to it, you must traverse it. If the string is long, parts of it may reside on pages that have been swapped out and touching them will trigger expensive IO operations.

There is a reason that every OO library uses a length+data for string objects

about a month and a half ago
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Uber Has a Playbook For Sabotaging Lyft, Says Report

alexo Re:How is this not conspiracy to commit fraud? (182 comments)

Nobody is directly profiting from these actions.

Direct profiting is not a part of a definition of fraud.

Fraud

A false representation of a matter of fact—whether by words or by conduct, by false or misleading allegations, or by concealment of what should have been disclosed—that deceives and is intended to deceive another so that the individual will act upon it to her or his legal injury.

Fraud is commonly understood as dishonesty calculated for advantage. A person who is dishonest may be called a fraud. In the U.S. legal system, fraud is a specific offense with certain features.

Fraud must be proved by showing that the defendant's actions involved five separate elements: (1) a false statement of a material fact,(2) knowledge on the part of the defendant that the statement is untrue, (3) intent on the part of the defendant to deceive the alleged victim, (4) justifiable reliance by the alleged victim on the statement, and (5) injury to the alleged victim as a result.

These elements contain nuances that are not all easily proved. First, not all false statements are fraudulent. To be fraudulent, a false statement must relate to a material fact. It should also substantially affect a person's decision to enter into a contract or pursue a certain course of action. A false statement of fact that does not bear on the disputed transaction will not be considered fraudulent.

Second, the defendant must know that the statement is untrue. A statement of fact that is simply mistaken is not fraudulent. To be fraudulent, a false statement must be made with intent to deceive the victim. This is perhaps the easiest element to prove, once falsity and materiality are proved, because most material false statements are designed to mislead.

Third, the false statement must be made with the intent to deprive the victim of some legal right.

Fourth, the victim's reliance on the false statement must be reasonable. Reliance on a patently absurd false statement generally will not give rise to fraud; however, people who are especially gullible, superstitious, or ignorant or who are illiterate may recover damages for fraud if the defendant knew and took advantage of their condition.

Finally, the false statement must cause the victim some injury that leaves her or him in a worse position than she or he was in before the fraud.

-- http://legal-dictionary.thefre...

about 2 months ago
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Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

alexo Re:Sigh (341 comments)

Canada is not a one-party-consent polity for recording conversations, IIRC.

It sort of is.

about 2 months ago
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News Aggregator Fark Adds Misogyny Ban

alexo Re:Sigh (748 comments)

Sorry, being forced to "tolerate" someone is, for me, functionally indistinct from being forced to approve of them. I will not sit by idly and let disgusting bullshit happen just because it's now politically correct to do so.

That's OK, as long as you don't complain when somebody bigger/stronger/better-armed/better-connected considers your behaviour to be "disgusting bullshit" and will not sit idly and let it happen.

It's up to us to resist it with all our strength, and acknowledging and king of tolerance for the enemy's ideology goes against that. Liberalism is a disease and must be fought as such.

See above. Some day you will find yourself on the receiving side. And when that day comes (and it will), just remember that you have defined the rules of engagement and don't run crying to "Liberal" organizations to protect you.

about 2 months ago
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Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

alexo Re:Potheads assemble! (178 comments)

A while ago I spent some time in a mental facility and one of the patients there was that unlucky 1 in 700,000 who was vulnerable to the psychotic effects that marijuana could cause.

As compared to:

As many as 600,000 Canadians (1 - 2% of the overall population) are thought to be at risk of anaphylaxis stemming from food and insect allergy.
-- http://www.aaia.ca/en/anaphyla...

So what's you point exactly? That marijuana is approximately 10,000 times safer than food?

about 2 months ago
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Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

alexo Re:Where? (232 comments)

For example, the killing of the Jews in the 3rd Reich was legal.

No, it wasn't.

Crimes against Jews -- especially those committed by officials of the state -- were ignored by people who were responsible for enforcing the laws in Nazi Germany but at no point did the Nazis change the criminal code to say: "by the way, you totally can kill all the Jews you want".

As if selective prosecution is not prevalent in the US...

about 2 months ago
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Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

alexo Re:It's tinfoil time! (232 comments)

Kinda funny, then, that bankrupt regimes with 1980s era electronics are orders of magnitude better at this "oppression" thing than our own high-tech governments.

The US government has it's citizens barely able to control their bowels due to unfounded fear of terrorism. Dissidents are corralled into "free speech zones" or simply ignored. Everyone is being watched - what they do online, where they go (phone tracking), who they communicate with. The government actively monitors and attempts to disrupt dissent online via operations against sites such as Slashdot. What little protection US citizens have in law is easily bypassed by having foreign partners such as GCHQ operate against them on the NSA's behalf. There are secret courts designed to prevent proper oversight and scrutiny.

There is little difference between the two main parties, and the people with the real power don't change even when they do. Americans have very little real democratic influence.

The US has outdone all those oppressive regimes and most of its citizens don't even realize what has happened. Rather than an unstable, overtly violent system of control the US has found a way to almost completely subdue the population without the risk of being overthrown.

Mod parent up please, this opinion deserves higher visibility.

about 2 months ago
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Fugitive Child Sex Abuser Caught By Face-Recognition Technology

alexo Re:It's tinfoil time! (232 comments)

Our government doesn't yet have enough political power to safely brutalize its general population (though it's doing an increasingly good job on minorities), but it can control most of us never-the-less.

Your government doesn't need to brutalize its general population in order to control it.
And, as you have noted yourself, it does resort to brutalizing when dealing with less compliant groups.

about 2 months ago
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DEA Paid Amtrak Employee To Pilfer Passenger Lists

alexo Re:Amtrack should be working on (127 comments)

Ignorant? Really?

Bigoted against tranny prostitites? On government transportation that the public rides on? HELL, yes. Publicly visited transport should be free of this filth. You're a complete fucktard for thinking this is not completely fucking disgusting and actually supporting it's actions. Just because some assclown wants to pretend it's a woman, that certainly means that it isn't. Get that seedy shit off of national transportation that people have to pay to be on. Clown.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

about 2 months ago
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Microsoft Tip Leads To Child Porn Arrest In Pennsylvania

alexo Re:Which company is next in line? (353 comments)

They don't hash the raw file itself they construct a specialised hash based on the image content. It breaks the image up into chunks, analyses those chunks and generates a hash from that analysis. The intent being to make it resilient to cropping, scaling and colour changes. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

The geek in me wants to know the algorithm(s) it uses so I can detect similar but not-quite-identical images in a collection. The (free) programs that I tried so far were stumped by cropping or colour changes or both.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Conservatives Commitment to Internet Surveillance

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

alexo (9335) writes "Dr. Michael Geist writes that Canada's Conservatives committed to pass "lawful access" legislation that would fundamentally reshape the Internet in Canada within the new Parliament's first 100 days if they win a majority.

The legislation includes new laws that would establish massive Internet surveillance requirements and the potential disclosure of personal information without court oversight.

The proposed bills were never debated in parliament nor subjected to committee hearings, yet the Conservatives election platform promises to bundle all the crime and justice bills into a single omnibus bill and to pass it within a new Parliament's first 100 days.

With the elections looming, it is time to fight for your rights."

Link to Original Source
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Speak Out on Bill C-32

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

alexo (9335) writes "Dr. Michael Geist, a law professor and the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law at the University of Ottawa, writes in his blog that the Bill C-32 Legislative Committee is accepting briefs on the controversial "Copyright Modernization Act" (a.k.a the Canadian DMCA) until the end of January 2011.

The Committee has set the following parameters for input: In order for briefs on Bill C-32 to be considered by the Committee in a timely fashion, the document should be submitted to the Committee's mailbox at CC32@parl.gc.ca by the end of January, 2011. A brief which is longer than 5 pages should be accompanied by a 1 page executive summary and in any event should not exceed 10 pages in length.

The article also contains Dr. Geist's suggestions on the possible modifications that will make this bill less skewed against consumers.

Write early, only 5 days left."

Link to Original Source
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Canadian-Iranian Blogger Sentenced to 19.5 Years

alexo alexo writes  |  about 4 years ago

alexo (9335) writes "CNN reports that an Iranian court has sentenced Hossein Derakhshan, the so-called "blogfather" of Iran, to 19.5 years in prison.

Derakhshan, a 35-year-old Canadian-Iranian blogger and activist, was "convicted of cooperating with enemy states, making propaganda against the Islamic system of government, promoting small anti-revolutionary groups, managing obscene web sites and insulting Islamic sanctities".

Slashdot mentioned Derakhshan in an article about Iranian bloggers back in 2006."

Link to Original Source
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Anti-frustration software for Windows

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

alexo (9335) writes "Soluto, an Israeli start-up, aims to solve one of the problems that plagues all computer users: poor computer performance. As its first service, the company is offering a free (as in beer) program that analyzes the boot process and identifies applications and processes that may be removed or delayed to speed up Windows' start-up. To find the source of the slowdowns, Soluto uses a statistical approach, "The PC Genome", which they describe as "a huge knowledgebase of PC frustration data, built automatically through the usage of Soluto software. Its objective and statistical information, gathered and analyzed by Soluto, is also editable by the community."

See writeups by the New York Times, ZDNet and Geeks are sexy."

Link to Original Source
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Nominate best Slashdot sigs

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

alexo (9335) writes "Some readers may disagree but to me, the user signatures are an integral part of Slashdot discussions, often providing additional perspective about the posters' opinions.
However, sigs are not normally considered a part of the discussion and commenting on them is liable to get you moderated "off topic". Likewise, sig moderation is not provided.

Maybe it's time to acknowledge and celebrate the lowly sig.
Please nominate the best (and worst) Slashdot sigs of 2007.
Which ones did you find the funniest? The most insightful? Trollish?

Let the quoting begin."
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alexo alexo writes  |  about 8 years ago

alexo (9335) writes "President Bush will sign the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (a.k.a bill S.3930) into law today. Among its provisions, the bill supports the formerly secret CIA interrogation program, authorizes the permanent detention and torture (as defined by the Geneva Conventions) of anyone based solely on the decision of the President and suspends the writ of habeas corpus for detainees.
According to CBC news, the UK has already demanded and received an exemption for its citizens. Canada has not."

Journals

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Cellebrating the Slashdot sig

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Here's my latest submission attempt:

Some readers may disagree but to me, the user signatures are an integral part of Slashdot discussions, often providing additional perspective about the posters' opinions.
However, sigs are not normally considered a part of the discussion and commenting on them is liable to get you moderated "off topic". Likewise, sig moderation is not provided.

Maybe it's time to acknowledge and celebrate the lowly sig.
Please nominate the best (and worst) Slashdot sigs of 2007.
Which ones did you find the funniest? The most insightful? Trollish?

Let the quoting begin.

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Canadian witch hunt claims victim

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Here's an article I submitted on Dec 1, 2004.
It was rejected (like the rest of my submissions) so I'm reposting it here.

Canadian witch hunt claims victim (YRO)

Injusticebusters reports the suicide of James LeCraw from Toronto who, on April 16, 2003, was publicly outed by the police as a suspect of child-porn possession as part of "Operation Snowball" that purports to "name and shame" suspected Pedophiles.

Although after a 5-month investigation the charges against were completely withdrawn, LeCraw was never cleared from the stigma of being associated with such a horrific crime and on on July 19th this year he killed himself.

Given the implications of the case, I find it strange that the only other reference I could find on the internet is a report by CBC Radio reporter Kellie Hudson (scroll down to The Current: Part 3).

Are we going to experience a wave of McCarthyism in Canada?

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Guilty until proven innocent

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

CBC News has an article on the Criminal Property Forfeiture Act, introduced by the government of Manitoba (currently run by the New Democratic Party).

The legislation would let police seize the homes, cars, cash and other property of any person, as long as police could persuade a judge that the individual is a member of a criminal organization.
The onus would then be on the suspected gang member to prove the assets were earned through legitimate income and not the proceeds of crime.

The Manitoba bill is civil in nature and requires a judge to rule based on a balance of probabilities - a lesser burden of proof.

Supposedly, New York's Nassau County, New Jersey and Ireland have already implemented similar laws.

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World Computer Chess Championship

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

From 22 to 30 November 2003, the world's best chess software will be put to the test in a multimedia environment in the Dom im Berg. The world champion will be determined according to ICGA (International Computer Games Association) statutes in an eleven-round computer chess tournament in Graz. Clear favourite is a chip called "Brutus", programmed by Chrilly Donninger from Austria.

Under the title "Chess003" Graz will see the world's best chess programmes playing against each other according to the ICGA rules in the Dom im Berg. This World Computer Chess Championship will feature new media, video walls, broadcasting of all games in the Internet and presentation on site.

Further Events will be held in Graz: 1st European Youth Chess Championship, Styrian Open, Austrian Team Chess Championship, Advances in Computer Games Conference (ICGA), Computer Olympiad (ICGA).

More information is available on the ICGA at Graz 2003 and the 8th Computer Olympiad sites.

Interestingly, the list of participants is missing some of the highest ranking programs such as Fritz, Hieracs, The King and Chess Tiger.

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Plextor launches the fastet DVD recorder

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 11 years ago

CDRInfo has a piece about Plextor's new dual format DVD recorder.

The PX-708A (ATAPI) and PX-708UF (USB2 and FireWire) write and rewrite at a speed 8x and 4x with DVD plus, and 4x and 2x with DVD minus respectively. The recorders read DVD-ROMs at 12x, read and write CDs at 40x and rewrie them at 24x.

This story is also posted to cdfreaks.

8x DVD+R means that you will be able to burn 4.7GB of data in less than 10 minutes! I guess that the "plus" format scores another one...

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FY 2004 budget

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 11 years ago

While commenting on the space shuttle program critique, I found a link to the US FY 2004 budget.

Quite interesting to see what are the priorities of the world's only superpower.

Also, take a look here.

Update:
A lot of info about US budget here.

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No more submissions

alexo alexo writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Update: Check the following journal for rejected submissions.

I give up. After 7 rejected stories (100%) I got the message and will not waste my time on submitting anymore.

Here are your recent submissions to Slashdot, and their status within the system:

2002-04-19 02:48:53 eBay censors discussion boards (articles,censorship) (rejected)
2002-10-01 15:25:27 Canadian proposed "copying tax" slammed in (articles,news) (rejected)
2002-10-29 18:39:27 J2EE vs .NET Application Server Performance Benchm (yro,news) (rejected)
2003-01-16 18:54:17 Viewing porn sites will get you arrested (yro,news) (rejected)
2003-01-23 15:06:34 Save the free programming resources from thefreeco (developers,programming) (rejected)
2003-05-09 22:20:55 Good computer hardware review sites (askslashdot,hardware) (rejected)
2003-05-11 16:42:58 Everyday life tracked by society's prying eye (yro,privacy) (rejected)
Summary:
rejected (7)

I know that "grousing about rejected submissions" is counterproductive but sometimes I feel that my submissions just get forwarded to an autorejector.

FAQ says:
Slashdot gets hundreds of submissions every day. Every day our authors go through these submissions, and try to select the most interesting, timely, and relevant ones to post to the homepage. There are probably as many reasons for stories to get rejected as there are stories, but here are some of the more common ones:

* Badly worded subjects

Look OK to me. OK, there was one "misclick" and a story got marked as "yro" when it wasn't.

* Broken or missing URLs

Nope.

* Confusing or hysterical sounding writeup

Nope. Factual al the way.

* It might be an old story

Nope, all fresh at the time of submission (48h max).

* It might just be a busy day and we've already posted enough stories

Maybe. Nothing I can do about it.

* Someone already submitted your story

Nope. Checked.

Your story just might not be interesting!

Hmmm... Check for yourself.

Anyway, I'm done.

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