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Comments

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US Secret Service Wants To Identify Snark

avm Like that's going to work (213 comments)

Most humans are none too good at detecting sarcasm in non-speech mediums. This pattern seems especially prevalent in employees (and administrators) of governmental agencies.

Good luck. You're going to need it.

about 3 months ago
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Google Tells Glass Users Not To Be 'Creepy Or Rude'

avm Good for Google, etc. (341 comments)

Good on Google to attempt to combat rampant bad manners using their tech. Unfortunately I don't think it'll work. Tact and social graces have been dead since long before Google even existed

Bad to all you brain-dead cave dwellers who are so damn hung up on this piece of tech somehow taking your picture that you think physical violence is ok. Here's a news flash for you bright sparks:

1. Nobody in the public sphere gives a fuck about you. Not me, not them, not anybody. Don't believe me? Go walk down a sidewalk in Manhattan and start randomly complaining to passers by about oh, cameras or something.

2. You're already on quite a few cameras, whether you're in public or on private property. Lots of them are manned by underpaid staff whose only bright spot to the day is uploading footage they find amusing to social media sites.

3. You assaulting someone who happens to possess a piece of hardware you don't like does, in fact, make you a criminal in a whole lot of jurisdictions. As opposed to your glass wearing nemesis, whose mere inclusion of you in the background of his photo of something else is either not typically culpable, or at the most a slap on the wrist.

I personally have a use case that I'd like to try Glass out for. It does involve wearing them in public. However, I do possess sufficient tact to remove them when interacting with someone. Were I to be assaulted for possessing them, or threatened with such, my response would be very much the same as to an attempted mugger. Being that I do reside in a country with rather widespread firearms ownership, engaging in this sort of self expression could earn you a well deserved perforation.

So far it seems as if the number of assholes wearing Glass are vastly outnumbered by the assholes who consider physically assaulting someone for such to be acceptable.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Command Line Interfaces -- What Is Out There?

avm Here's a start... (383 comments)

Setup a virtual machine, or a partition, install a BSD (I'm partial to NetBSD), and go to it. Skip the graphical interface packages on installation.

You want to learn about this, here's how most of us did it (flavor and variant will vary of course). Your motivation determines how much you will learn. Enjoy.

about 8 months ago
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Geeks.com Online Shop Has Closed

avm What a shame (5 comments)

I've been ordering random stuff from them forever, and they contributed to quite a few of my pc builds. They will definitely be missed, at least by their customers on the east coast.

about a year ago
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How Did My Stratosphere Ever Get Shipped?

avm Nice ending. (238 comments)

Seriously. The ending to this article is one of the best last words I've seen in awhile.

about a year ago
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US Air Force Reporting Pilot Shortage

avm I'd love to (270 comments)

...but I can't. Have a family, which doesn't work all that well with active duty deployments. Have TERRIBLE vision and have had corrective lenses since age 4, also a non-starter. On top of that I'm 35...I couldn't get recruited for any of the armed services regardless of physical condition. In addition, the penchant of the current (and several prior) administration to engage other militaries and paramilitaries on a global scale, with no declaration of war (aside from a nebulous and ever-changing "terror" tag applied), renders training via our military an unavailable option to an otherwise very interested party.

In the current climate, without the flight time afforded by military experience, you are unlikely to make a livable wage as a commercial pilot (unless, perhaps, you are single, unattached, and can live on shoe strings for awhile). This combined with the initial expense of private pilot training really does not do anything to increase the available commercial pilot pool.

about a year ago
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Seattle Bar Owner Bans Google Glass, In Advance

avm Re:so you are...??? (471 comments)

Eh? I agree with the bar owner how? I was merely stating that were I to own a Glass, the last place I would go with it would be a bar?

about a year and a half ago
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Seattle Bar Owner Bans Google Glass, In Advance

avm Troll bar owner (471 comments)

The bar owner's a troll...however, I have to say that a bar is the LAST place I would have Glass on my head. I'm interested in it for business use, and recreational use, but come on...where do most cellphones get swiped/lost? That's right, in a bar.

That being said, if I were offered physical violence for wandering into an establishment with these on, there would be problems. A _polite_ request to remove would be sufficient.

about a year and a half ago
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White House Petition To Make Cell Phone Unlocking Legal Needs 11,000 Signatures

avm LOC makes laws? (193 comments)

Since when is the LOC or any staff thereof any kind of legislative body? Who granted them any authority to regulate, well, anything outside of the Library itself? I could understand the FCC issuing a ruling like this, as cellphones are very much within their purview, but the LOC?

What did I miss?

about a year and a half ago
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HR Departments Tell Equifax Your Entire Salary History

avm Re:One More Tool to Fight the Rise in Workers' Pay (472 comments)

Most corporate HR departments have open accounts with at least one of the credit reporting agencies, to say nothing of Lexis Nexis et al. Whether or not they use them is often solely dependent on how motivated a particular HR staffer is.

about a year and a half ago
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New York Paper Uses Public Records To Publish Gun-Owner Map

avm Missing the point (1232 comments)

The paper missed the mark by miles, in their breathless attempt to score page views off the tragedy of another. But isn't this what news media does nowadays?

Sex offenders, unlike registered firearm owners, are typically 1. convicted felons (who are barred from firearm ownership anyway) and 2. Statistically likely to commit repeat offenses.

REGISTERED firearms owners are, in the overwhelming majority, legally permitted in their jurisdiction to possess such things, legally acquiring the firearms, and law abiding citizens. They have not broken any laws in the acquisition, ownership, or use of such items. In addition, at least in my area, this list would contain a very large percentage of the local law enforcement officers, who typically become quite irate at having their home addresses listed.

I won't show up on this kind of list, as the interesting things in my house are exempt from permit requirements in my locale. Besides, I'd so much rather pin an armed home invader to the wall with a broadhead arrow...much more in keeping with my barbarian ancestry. The stain will go away with the carpet.

about a year and a half ago
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California Sues Delta Air Lines Over Mobile Privacy

avm Re:There is one smartphone that lets you do this.. (100 comments)

This is one area where the Blackberry OS has very soundly beaten every other mobile OS I'm aware of. Any OS even remotely considering corporate/enterprise usage really ought to have this sort of ACL for apps.

But, they don't.

about 2 years ago
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Texas Schools Using Electronic Chips To Track Students; Parents In Uproar

avm Re:Reasonable? (540 comments)

The opposite would also be amusing. Bring a bunch of spare tags in, all programmed with your cloned tags info. Might be curious to report double the number of students, and difficult to dedup identical tag hits.

about 2 years ago
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PETA Condemns Pokemon For Promoting Animal Abuse

avm PETA is passe (418 comments)

This is an organisation whose time came and went, but doesn't realise it and is futilely thrashing at anything that'll generate a headline containing their name. People are more aware of the issues they once touted, but are filtering out their sensationalist over the top antics that often obscure their message.

Has beens, right up there with the *AA.

about 2 years ago
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UK Man Arrested For Offensive Joke Posted On Facebook

avm Re:Funny joke, related (606 comments)

On the other hand, since when has it been a human right to go through life free of offense? The world does not, and should not, tiptoe around random individuals and their own personal sense of propriety.

Toughen up, Brits. You're making me damn well ashamed of my ancestry with limp wristed nonsensical horse shit like this.

about 2 years ago
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BMW Cars Vulnerable To Blank Key Attack

avm Buy vintage BMWs! (291 comments)

....like my personal favorite, the 2002. Sure, it can still be stolen using much less sophisticated equipment, but its arguably cooler than many of the modern iterations and a lot easier on your checkbook.

about 2 years ago
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ACLU Questions Privacy of License Plate Scanners

avm Re:Where is the line? (246 comments)

Or, next door to one? And kudos on the literary reference, btw.

more than 2 years ago
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Washington State To Allow Voter Registration Over Facebook

avm Re:Lovely (178 comments)

You wind up registering with enough different entities that it would almost be a relief to single source it. Change address with DMV, with employer (who in turn shares it with fed/state/local tax agencies), with public utilities, and the list goes on.

Most of these are required, either by federal, state or local law. At least in the northeast corner of the US, that is.

more than 2 years ago
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Man Physically Assaulted At McDonald's For Wearing Digital Eye Glasses

avm Unmask! (1198 comments)

I don't know the laws in France, but I doubt that a Canadian citizen is subject to them, if not in France.

He should unmask the people on his blog who he's labeled Perpetrators 1-3. Why would you give them the courtesy of anonymity?

Also, seeing as McDonalds originated in the US, I'd be filing any complaints with corporate HQ in Oak Brook, IL. I'm pretty sure corporate HQ can exert pressure on affiliates/franchisees outside the US.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Stay Employable?

avm Re:As a 45 year old working in the industry (708 comments)

I honestly never thought I'd see the day someone had to explain BOFH on slashdot. What is the world coming to?

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

avm hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

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Yearly journal entry

avm avm writes  |  more than 2 years ago

And the yearly journal entry for 2011 is....*ta-daaa*...well, nothing much. Still drive a truck, albeit for an oilfield contractor. More money, more uncertainty about hours, blah. I need to find an occupation which is such a commodity that I'll never have to worry about unemployment.

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Job hunting, again

avm avm writes  |  more than 3 years ago

And it's that time of year again. The time where, despite it being the busy season in my particular line of work, my employer insists on farming out work that I could be doing to a series of subcontractors, temp agencies, and novice employees. I might point out here that my job requires certain knowledge that it's difficult to gain without actually doing it for awhile, and in some cases, unfamiliarity can cause damage to the (leased) equipment.

I know what I'm doing, I have no incidents whatsoever, I'm on time and punctual, I don't make a fuss but instead just do it, and I'm sitting at home. Over the past 3 weeks my paychecks have dropped on the order of $300-400, and the budgetary strain is unpleasant to say the least. Time to start the search yet again.

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There's no school like the old school

avm avm writes  |  more than 3 years ago

It's more than a little amusing to watch the proliferation of simplified or one click root solutions for assorted Android devices. Has the geek world become entirely populated with devotees of the WIMP interface? Are we now seeing a rash of "geeks" who don't understand a *nix command prompt (choice of shell aside)? Every rooting method I've seen has involved uploading, then executing, an exploit binary, changing a few strategic permissions, and uploading some needed tools. This is exceedingly elementary to accomplish using ADB, and if you can't grok that, or more to the point, how the Android system itself functions, do you really have the chops to tinker with your device's operating system so cavalierly?

The doors are that way, your geek cards will be collected on your way out.

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avm avm writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I just unearthed my old Cingular 8125 (a HTC Wizard G3 by any other name), and thought "hey I haven't seen this in awhile". Spent a few minutes CID-unlocking it, and flashing it with the 2.26 T-Mobile branded ROM. Not that I use T-Mobile... Their service is nearly nonexistant in the CDMA-heavy semi rural area I live in. In fact, I don't have a SIM in it at all.

Wonder how the Android port is progressing?

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It's been awhile...

avm avm writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Well, who would have thought we'd run into each other out here after all these years.

CrAlt, still in CT?

Uz, still in Oregon?

What's new with you guys?

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avm avm writes  |  more than 6 years ago

In keeping with my recent trend of one journal entry per year, here it is for 2007.

I now live 250 miles away from the last place. I drive a tractor trailer for a living, and build/ride motorcycles for fun. I own my home, have a nice car, and make a tolerable wage for the area. My son is now 17 months old and interested in EVERYTHING, especially of a mechanical or electronic nature. I'm a single parent...my wife has abandoned both of us and the divorce is in the works.

I'm still very much a computer geek, but my focus shifts as my career does...right now I'm fiddling around with free software for over-the-road truckers to keep their logs with. What lovely reading, those FMCSA regs are. Lots of truckers have a laptop, so portability is key...must work on Windows, Mac and Linux equally (pretty much spells out J-A-V-A doesn't it?).

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avm avm writes  |  more than 8 years ago

This is a token journal entry. There is no informative or useful commentary to be found here. With a month-old son, a 60+ hour/week job, and the associated responsibilities, I haven't the time to do much else.

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avm avm writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, here's 2005's token yearly post.

Still happily married, though now living in a basement apartment attached to my in-laws house, rather than renting a 3br house from my grandfather. Money and commuting costs dictated that move.

I now work loading paper/foodservice goods on trucks, at night. Not an IT job, but pays better than anything I have found so far.

Let's see what sort of surprises the new year brings.

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avm avm writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I'm SOOO ready for summer! After a long day at work, I get home and the inside of my house is 40 deg. F!!! This is a very bad sign, when it's 6F and windy outside, as plumbing can freeze and make a huge mess.

Well, to make a long story short, some plumbing DID freeze/crack/leak (a radiator in an un-insulated portion of my old house), and the oil line to my boiler keeps freezing up or congealing the oil to the point that the pump can no longer pull it.

It's gonna be a great day, and can only get better from here, with a forecast of +5F to 0F and windy for tonight.

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avm avm writes  |  more than 10 years ago

It's been a VERY long time since I posted here, and a lot's happened. Just a quick run-down...I got married, quit working at a motorcycle shop and now work as a printmaker/IT guy. The daily grind involves lots and lots of Photoshop use, prepping images for optimum print output on our Epson 9K-series printers (color and b/w).

I don't post much at all, never have, but I think this journal may start to see more activity, since I need a place to randomly blather on to nobody in particular. If a geek blogs in a forest of slashdot user journals, does anyone read it?

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Cars are cool

avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I think cars are a nice meatspace analogue to open source software. Mine is getting a new kernel (motor, transmission, ECU) compiled/installed right now. It will work with all my existing stuff, with only slight interface changes (a few wires here, a bracket there, and minor adjustments to the exhaust). If I don't like something, anything, I can change how it works, or remove it and replace with something totally different. The factory ECU is closed-source, but I can replace that with a totally programmable aftermarket one.

The only glitch in this analogy is money, though perhaps it's not such a glitch. On the car, any modification which requires me to buy a part costs money (I don't have the equipment to build my own parts at the moment). In the open-source world, any modification requires code and time, usually lots. Time == money, so perhaps the analogy isn't as skewed as I first thought.

Oh well, enough rambling for now...

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Computing goodness

avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Well, finally my new case and P/S have arrived, my KT7A-raid with its 850mhz Duron and 1GB of RAM is up and running, and things are great. Fresh install of Slack 8.0 that I'm in the middle of tweaking, with the obligatory W98 partition for Half-life/Counterstrike et al. Next computing task is tackling server upgrades...the server box is due for more diskspace, RAM (if I can find 5v ECC DIMMs anywhere), and its DAT drive needs to be hooked up and tested.

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avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

I am severely annoyed...I've just found that an antique air gun I bought online is unusable in present condition. At first I thought it was because the pump's plunger seal had detached from the plunger...so I fished it out with a bit of wire. Still, it would build pressure halfway through the stroke, and then PFFT, it would escape. Further inspection revealed a small dent in the cylinder (from the outside), which was deforming the plunger seal and releasing the pressure. Now I have to figure out how to fix it, and I have a sneaking feeling it won't be easy.

Lately I've been riding to work on my CR250, which is street-legal and fitted with smaller wheels and sticky sport bike tires. I would not be doing this normally, but my main road bike is off the road for repairs, and I haven't yet gotten a new insurance card for my other road bike, despite having gone to the agent and given them cash to renew for another year. GRRR. So here I am, riding along on this buzzy smoky 2-stroke, wheelying at every rail crossing... It's not the most comfortable thing, but it is after all transportation.

I still have not managed to put together a computer using the motherboard I got for Christmas. I'm waiting for the new case/power supply to get here...someone told me that AMD Durons like to have 300w to play with, and my old p/s toasted itself anyhow. Perhaps it will be here next week, then I can play Half-life again! Rah rah!

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Got my SL5000!

avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

w00t!! My Sharp Zaurus SL-5000 arrived today, after being delivered to the wrong house, and subsequently opened by the unintended recipient. Oh well, I've got it now.

First impression....this thing is seriously nifty! I could see this thing having all manner of uses. Now if I could figure out how to get a screenshot...it does not use X. Has slots for SD/MMC cards as well as Compactflash, and works with Xircom LAN and modem cards, and a few other memory and 802.11b CF cards. It also runs a flavor of PersonalJava. I think I need to brush up on the Java coding now. One thing I did not see is a serial cable - the device comes with a USB cradle, but unless that works with a Linux development host, it won't be too useful.

This new acquisition will be useful. With a decent-size SD card, it can play MP3's. It has the standard PDA stuff like calendar, todo-list, and address-book. Best of all, I can recompile it's kernel!! :-) Do that with your PalmOS or WinCE box!

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Car geekery

avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

No progress whatsoever on the DMS, aside from some minor fiddling with HTML output. Downloaded and played with Redhat's Interchange ecommerce software...this has potential, if I can get it to play nicely with a database of over 400K parts. It's a possibility.

The new motor (JDM B16a) for my '89 Civic LX is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. Called up the shop and got their OK to show up with a car and a huge pile of parts. Ordered up a set of custom axles, which were incidentally cheaper than the '88 Integra axles that some people use for this swap. Now all I need is a new engine wiring harness, an exhaust header, and a new catalytic convertor.

Looked over the motor's ECU, and it does not appear to be ODB-anything. Bummer, cos there's some neat software to show and change parameters from one's palmpilot. Oh well.

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Visiting the big brown room!

avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Don't know how germaine to slashdot's general content this is, but it's my journal and I'll post what I like :-p

Somehow I managed to wrangle a half-day at work today, so I decided to go visit a new local motocross track. The founders had invited me to come take a spin and check it out. So, despite only having ridden on dirt roads before, I hopped on the CR250 and went to check it out.

There's a very tight, technical woods trail loop, that makes a circuit around the MX track, and would be tight for a mountain bike. And here I am on a CR250 with dropped gearing (good for 90mph on-road)...talk about clutch abuse. I didn't get out of first gear there at all. Did a couple laps of this, then waited till most of the people took a break from the MX track, and went out there. Wow, I still can't get out of first...damn street gearing! The jumps were cool...I've never jumped before, but I came out quite alright. I did skip the double...don't fancy coming up short and smacking into the second face! I have got to get new tires...my rear tire is worn to the point I have no grip with the bike upright, but when leaned over it grabs and shoots me in directions I'd rather not go.

Some things in the real world are better than anything I've ever done on a computer, and I think I've found another one. Wonder if I can still call myself a computer geek...I roadrace, ride motorcycles on and offroad, play soccer, volleyball, shoot things. Oh well, back to messing with outer joins in Postgresql....my arms are sore now.

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More PHP/Postgres wibblings

avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Well, work on the DMS addons has pretty much stifled...workload has taken a sudden jump as a coworker has decided to just not show 3 Saturdays in a row, and now has not turned up Monday or today either. Now that's just bloody fantastic..grr.

Got tired of writing customer's return authorisations in a book, and started coding a replacement in PHP, stuffing the data in a Postgres table. Messed about some with sequences too...nifty feature, that. This would be something else to add to the DMS addons...especially if customers could fill in the form and request a return authorisation (with approval/denial by me/someone else of course). The whole object of this system is to save me work, of course, and the more typing the customers can do, the longer my hands will survive without carpal tunnel syndrome.

Talked to my manager about some of this stuff...I'm still trying to coax him to move our website to a colo'd Linux/BSD machine, rather than the shared LAME NT box it's currently on.

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Weekly wibblings

avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

Been a while since I put something in here...and I'm bored....

I'm beginning to think that PHP is the greatest thing since...oh, Linux or something, especially in combination with PostgreSQL (Mysql fans go away! :-P). Due to limitations in our DMS (Dealer Management System, I work at a motorcycle dealer), I have been coding up some bits and pieces to do stuff, and am now to the point where I can begin tying some of them together.

I mainly deal with wholesale to businesses, who generally have part numbers, often request price/availability checks, quotes and the like. Since I'm the only one in my department (hell, I AM the department), anything that can make the client do stuff instead of me is good. Currently I am working on a PHP-based web interface to take orders, do quotes, return discontinued/superceded parts info, and request return authorisations. Now, I have to figure out how to transfer that information from a colocated box to our office LAN, and the DMS. Should be interesting.

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Well well, what have we here?

avm avm writes  |  more than 12 years ago

How interesting...slashdot's features are expanding a la kuro5hin. Though I haven't been over there in months. Odd that I read this site daily and I hadn't noticed all the new functionality until now. Oh well, the big blue room has enough distractions, I can't absorb all the information in front of me.

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