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Windows 8 Tells Microsoft About Everything You Install

daemonburrito Re:Time for Linux, finally? (489 comments)

You can avoid all the pain of researching hardware by purchasing a pre-configured Linux machine.


I've had great experiences from them. Great support, both official and community. Computer comes ready to go, with a system76 repo for support of very new hardware. After less than a year, my laptop now works with vanilla Linux without need of system76's software.

Ships with latest Ubuntu, but if you're not a fan of Unity, xubuntu is great.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Linux Laptops?

daemonburrito system76 (5 comments)

I've bought a couple laptops from them and have no complaints (besides my personal dislike for Unity). They test all their machines, and run their own repo for stuff not included in Ubuntu's official repos. Everything (lid, sound, battery life, fan etc) works perfectly.


more than 3 years ago

What Exactly Is a Galaxy?

daemonburrito Amateur Opinion (225 comments)

IANAAP, but I was up late last night thinking about this one (coincidentally).

My vote: SMBh and dark matter separates GCs from galaxies nicely. However, I think that large numbers of extant stars should not be required; ie, dark matter galaxies are galaxies. In this epoch, at least.

about 4 years ago

Food for thought

daemonburrito Just for the record (21 comments)

The Dark Ages happened, the Church was bad for humanity for a while, and dirty Muslins did preserve the Classics, advance mathematics, and establish some of the more humane and enlightened states at the time.

MH42 is polite enough, but he is apparently a member of (or enamored with) radical Traditionalist Catholic groups. They could, uncharitably, be called hate groups based on their anti-Islam rhetoric. They are everywhere on the web, from /., to blogs, to edit-warring on Wikipedia.

Note that should interest the classic /. reader: They even edit-warred on the WP articles for algorithm and algebra, burying or removing references to their namesake. Of course, they also vandalized the article for al-Khwarizmi.

Most of the time I say nothing about this naked revisionism (or Apologetics), but I'm going to speak up, just this once. MH42, and the Traditionalists in general, are hell-bent on erasing the appraisal of the Church that rose out of Enlightenment. In their minds, they are fighting against a centuries-long attempt to discredit the Church, and all of humanity's current problems arise from leaving the Dark Ages (ie, they are "anti-Enlightenment"). Everything he states as fact should be viewed with this in mind.

MH42, if you read this: No offense, and I think that you won't really disagree with my description of your world-view. I just had to point out that the majority view of European history is utterly at odds with yours, and what I suspect is a kind of Middle Age Utopianism is abhorrent to most people (and not obvious from your comments).

To those with a passion for history: Audit a course. Don't get your history from blogs and edit-warred WP articles.

about 4 years ago

Are Right-Wing Trolls Being Paid to Disrupt Slashdot?

daemonburrito Re:Why Would They Bother With Slashdot? (8 comments)

Whether or not spamming slashdot pays off is not necessarily a calculation done by humans. The real, professional astroturf (quite unlike what the first sibling comment talks about) uses software.

It is an antique, it is crufty, but slashdot is still ranked by this sort of software as a hub that "influencers" hang out on (I just threw up in my mouth a little).

Regardless of your feelings about whether this is a good strategy, it's a fact. I hesitate to describe their tells, but suffice to say it's obvious when the U.S. 50c'ers come to play on slashdot.

about 4 years ago


daemonburrito More cents (7 comments)

There's nothing technically deficient about MySQL. It's definitely the easiest to set up, the most common, has the most web gui admin tools, etc. However, given the way Oracle is behaving, I'm running away from it. I'm afraid the free MySQL is going to get progressively less useful and more buggy, at least. Depending on how long you wish your app to function well, and whether you're going to buy support, this could be a factor.

There is a drop-in replacement in the form of Monty's MariaDB. Could work.

I don't know how happy with language-hopping you are, but if you know a tiny bit of Python, Django gives you a functioning gui for free (a bunch of pretty, customizable forms generated based on your schema/model). Instant app. If your schema is straightforward, its ORM is capable of going from schema to Python model and back, which is neat.

Hell, really, you don't have to tie yourself down to one RDBMS. If you break out the graph paper and figure out how your data's going to look, with any web app framework these days, you could switch easily to whatever's working for you. A common workflow these days is to develop locally with sqlite, and then use a network db for production; all pretty painless and routine.

more than 4 years ago


daemonburrito Re:Hypocrites (9 comments)

While I said "they see no hypocrisy", saying it's all apologetics might be generous. A lot of it is just schlock marketing. Not saying that there aren't people who defend their positions in good faith; but they are, at least, used cynically.

Funny since we talked about apologetics and Christian Nationalism... Here's a couple great posts from my favorite Christian blogger on the subject of dishonesty: VIII, Lying your way to crazy.

more than 4 years ago


daemonburrito Re:Hypocrites (9 comments)

There are many ways to read the Constitution like that. One is alter the definition of "citizen".

The machine that has created the alleged controversy has incorporated what was the "sovereign citizen" movement from the 90's militia craze. They regard "14th Amendment citizens" as second-class. The 1st Amendment only applies to True Citizens. Pulp authors peddling this stuff in the 80s and 90s now have prominent places in the Teabagger movement (like the F.A.I.R. people who wrote SB1070).

See also: the 25 Point Plan, Dred Scott.

Another way is to change the definition of "freedom of religion". Guys like Jay Sekulo have been preaching this for years. This is the Christian Nationalist movement, which has also been incorporated. Besides believing that the Original Constitution was written by God himself (and black folks should be grateful for all that time we spent civilizing them, all part of His plan), they believe that "freedom of religion" is not a prohibition against state religion, but instead a measure that protects true Christians against persecution (the Mayflower, etc).

They honestly see no hypocrisy. They approach the Constitution in the same way as the Bible (as in convenient interpretation, not inerrant truth).

(The good folks at SPLC observe and report on hate groups in the US. Their reports are nice: http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report)

more than 4 years ago

The Weather Channel partners with Monsanto

daemonburrito What surprise? (1 comments)

Weather.com and Accu-Weather have lobbied Congress to forbid NOAA from publishing data. This is the very same data (including radar and satellite imagery) that they use in their "value-added" products like The Weather Channel, websites, and contract work for broadcasters (without informing viewers that the data is publicly available, and the equipment paid for by taxpayers). They've almost succeeded on several occasions, most recently in 2005. Using similar rationale as ISPs suing municipalities, they feel that it is "unfair" for NOAA to keep the data available.

Weather.com has never, ever been on the your (apparent) side of the IP debate. Honestly, if this sort of thing is important to you, you should never have used weather.com as your "weather provider" (not sure what that means). To me, Weather.com and Monsanto's positions on IP are aligned, more or less; Monsanto wants to patent life, and the Weather.com wants copyright protection and quasi-exclusive licensing of the weather.

more than 4 years ago

D2 still broken?

daemonburrito Re:Have to fight with the sliders (4 comments)

Hmm. It crashes when I toggle the position. "user_is_anon" is undefined. In its present position (side), the sliders don't work as expected (but it doesn't crash). The onclick event that tells D2 to lower the threshold by one seems to be bottoming out at 1. user_is_anon is, in fact, defined in the comments-minified script, but that's all the debugging I'm inspired to do at the moment...

The toggle position bug is probably a red herring, not sure if it would work for me even if I could move it.

Aware of the idle trick... But this happens even now. Ugh.

more than 4 years ago

Celebrity Deathmatch

daemonburrito Fear (7 comments)

I'm afraid of her.

The dismissal of Palin's political viability reminds me of the way that Reagan was regarded before the 1976 GOP presidential primary.

I don't think that many people who were in Berkeley in 1969 could have imagined that Reagan and Meese would soon be in the White House. But it happened, and the tactics that worked then still work now.

For now, anyway. Demographics are changing in the U.S., and appealing to scared white people + a scoop of the easily distracted "independents" isn't going to be a winning strategy forever. It'll still work in 2012, though. Palin/Paul, the uninformed swing voters being armchair economists, stoners and conspiracy people.

more than 4 years ago


daemonburrito 3/10 (17 comments)

The racism was a nice touch, but in the end, it wasn't enough to make up for a mediocre troll.

The anonymous coordinated or self-reply gets an A for effort (since it required a buddy or a proxy), but the unintentional irony of the "intellectual honesty" bit takes away from what would have been a decent troll. The idiomatic "executive" fellatio just isn't believable. You gotta sell it, baby... Create a couple slashdot accounts when you've decided to talk to yourself; trolls have no fear.

Try reading ED or watching some of the masters here on slashdot for examples on how to troll libtards like me.

Or maybe you're actually a crusader... In that case, 10/10, true believer, may you be too drunk to feel it when our Night of Long Knives comes.

more than 4 years ago


daemonburrito oh (17 comments)

Gotcha... Oops. I guess I'm the one who should be avoiding lead.

more than 4 years ago


daemonburrito Breitbart? Really? (17 comments)

Have you been eating paint chips?

MR. LAUER: Critics are now talking about your style, which is the first time I’ve heard that in a long time. And they’re saying here’s a guy who likes to be known as cool and calm and collected, and this isn’t the time for cool, calm and collected –


MR. LAUER: — that this is not the time to meet with experts and advisers. This is a time to spend more time in the Gulf and — I never thought I’d say this to a president — but kick some butt.


MR. LAUER: And I don’t mean it to be funny.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: No. And I understand. And here’s what — I’m going to push back hard on this, because I think that this is just an idea that got in folks’ heads and the media has run with it. I was down there a month ago, before most of these talking heads were even paying attention to the Gulf. A month ago I was meeting with fishermen down there standing in the rain talking about what a potential crisis this could be.

And I don’t sit around just talking to experts because this is a college seminar. We talk to these folks because they potentially have the best answers so I know whose ass to kick, right?

(Emphasis mine)

Sweet jesus we're getting dumber all the time. The "controversy" is that we (stupid Americans) can't relate with how retarded and impulsive the president is not. And your QOTD is from a trashy Breitbart piece that suggests, in all seriousness, that Sarah Fucking Palin would be better equipped to deal with this crisis.

more than 4 years ago

Ah yes

daemonburrito Uncharacteristically partisan, Captain (17 comments)

Your blog copypasta is absurdly myopic.

If anyone thinks that Congress in unproductive now, imagine if the GOP had a narrative of a Chavez or Morales-style demagogue firing every employee of the MMS and reneging every permit, lease, and exception granted during the Bush years.

It's not even clear that such a thing is legally possible. On a related note, there are 77 key appointments being blocked by Senate Republicans. That they are okay with sabotaging the country for future campaign talking points should disturb you.

And my god man, look at the concern trolls you've attracted. Yuck.

more than 4 years ago


daemonburrito Slightly inaccurate (6 comments)

Matt Taibbi suffers from a misapprehension about Ron Paul, as do many of my generation.

The reason I really respect the Ron Paul people is that they’re consistent on all of these things. If they don’t want the government telling you you can’t buy a gun, they also don’t want the federal government telling you not to smoke weed or patronize a prostitute. Paul understands that you can’t make appeals on general principle unless you actually believe in that principle across the board.

This paragraph is technically correct, but oh so misleading. The Campaign for Liberty and affiliated organizations believe that the Federal government should not be able to do these things. The problem is that they believe that individual states can; indeed, they believe that constitutional protections of individual freedom do not apply to states. This belief is a reverberation of arguments that date back to the 1840s, and caused some serious social problems within living memory ("Impeach Earl Warren" and all that).

Ron Paul gets to appeal to hippies, religious fundamentalists, and outright racist groups. Personally, I find it pretty disingenuous, and I think it's intentionally ambiguous. It's nice that he thinks the federal government can't control these things, but the ignorant do not know that he supports Texas's right to implement Biblical Law, for example. What's extra stupid is that people could read policy papers right off of their websites; it's not a secret.

Matt Taibbi could check this out. Although the "newsletters" have been DMCA'd off the net, there's plenty of information out there, and the University of Kansas has been collecting them. He is (nominally) a journalist, after all. Excepting the newsletters, he could just visit lewrockwell.com. His ignorance of actual "libertarian" policy (like, "You can move to another state" if you don't like the death penalty for homosexuality) ruins it for me. "Ron Paul people" deserve no respect; they don't even know what it is they're supporting.

more than 4 years ago



RMS Surprises European Patent Office Meeting

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 4 years ago

daemonburrito (1026186) writes "Richard Stallman made an appearance at a presentation in Brisbane by the EPO's Ralf Abbing, briefly interrupting him. He carried a sign that read "Don't get caught in software patent thickets", and distributed pamphlets.

Stallman told iTnews, "We're here at the World Computer Congress and what I've discovered is that the European Patent Office is here to campaign in favour of software patents in Australia"."

Link to Original Source

More Fake Journals from Elsevier

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

daemonburrito (1026186) writes "Last week, we learned about Elsevier publishing a bogus journal for Merck. Now several librarians say that they have uncovered an entire imprint of "advertorial" publications.

Excerpta Medica, a "strategic medical communications agency", is an Elsevier division. Along with the now infamous "Australasian Journal of Bone and Joint Medicine", it published a number of other "journals".

Elsevier CEO Michael Hansen now admits that at least six fake journals were published for pharma companies."

Warner Sends DMCA Takedown for Lessig Video

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

daemonburrito (1026186) writes "Warner Music sent a DMCA takedown notice to Youtube demanding the removal of video from Lessig's recent presentation, "Getting the Network the World Needs."

The video remains available here at the time of this submission.

Lessig's initial tweet on the subject is here."

UK ISPs Make Deal With BPI

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 6 years ago

daemonburrito (1026186) writes "The BBC reports that the six largest ISPs in the UK have agreed to a deal with the trade group British Phonographic Industry, assisted by government arbitration. Under the reported terms of the deal, the ISPs will begin mailing notices to subscribers identified by the BPI, and aim for a "significant reduction" in music sharing. Hundreds of thousands of notices are expected."
Link to Original Source

AVG Linkscanner Using IE6 User-Agent

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 6 years ago

daemonburrito (1026186) writes "When AVG's Linkscanner debuted, it presented its own unique user-agent when it 'pre-scanned' links. Now, according to El Reg, the software was changed over the weekend to report a valid IE6 User-Agent, indistinguishable from human traffic.

When asked about the cost to webmasters for the extra traffic, and of concerns about making their logs useless, AVG research chief Roger Thompson replied: '[...] if you want to make omelets, you have to break some eggs.'

While this may seem reminiscent of the FasterFox problems, a major difference is that FasterFox will honor a robots.txt directive."

Link to Original Source

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 8 years ago

daemonburrito (1026186) writes "A group of physicists has demonstrated a cooling technique which may soon allow the study of gravity waves, a look into the boundary between quantum and classical physics, quantum-state engineering in macroscopic systems, "observation of non-classical correlations between macroscopic objects", and last but not least, "new means for integrated quantum (mechanical) information processing." For the lay, from NewScientist : "This week, three teams of physicists have perfected a way of doing this (Nature, vol 444, p 67). Their technique is to bombard a mirror of roughly 10^14 atoms with photons in a way that damps out thermal vibrations, cooling it to 135 millikelvin." For others: The juicier abstract as published in Nature, and the paper as published on arXiv.org."



"Western" reactors

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 3 years ago

There are 23 GE Mark 1 reactors in operation in the US.

Note that one of them is at the Vermont Yankee plant. On March 10, 2011, the NRC concluded proceedings for a twenty year extension for the operating license.

I am truly awed by the political and media power of the nuclear energy industry.


We are born like this

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 4 years ago

We are
Born like this
Into this
Into these carefully mad wars
Into the sight of broken factory windows of emptiness
Into bars where people no longer speak to each other
Into fist fights that end as shootings and knifings
Born into this
Into hospitals which are so expensive that it's cheaper to die
Into lawyers who charge so much it's cheaper to plead guilty
Into a country where the jails are full and the madhouses closed
Into a place where the masses elevate fools into rich heroes




daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Just so y'all know, the TSA "controversy" is madly successful astroturf.

There are many, many things to be worried about at the moment; the TSA procedures are so low on the list as to be a non-issue. And on top of that, I am supposed to believe that this generation, who are likely to have sent high-quality pictures of their junk in all its glory to dozens of people with their cellphones, and run around nekkid at Burning Man, are actually prudish enough to have a reason to care.

I am sad to see that people that I had some respect for have joined the party: Cory Doctorow, Bruce Schneier, and most painfully, the EFF. This is the first occasion that I, a t-shirt-wearing supporter, have been disappointed with the EFF's activities (not the first time that I have been disappointed with Doctorow or Schneier being glib outside of their domain knowledge, though).

Though I believe the controversy's roots are astroturf, the genuine, organic growth on top is fed by an amusing exploit: The mostly white, middle and upper-middle classes are getting the tiniest sample of a taste of what everyday life is like for non-privileged classes, and they are livid.

Even just being young and lower-middle-class (I'm white, if it must be known), and living in a wealthy suburb, got me pat down (very thorough) and detained on dozens of occasions during my teenage years.

And my experiences were nothing compared to the everyday reality of tens of millions of Americans.

For example:

Being hispanic in the Southwest can be a serious hazard: in many locales, you can be detained for months without trial, in a privately-run facility (it's a growth industry) where you're lucky to get a maxipad (google it) when you need it.

If you're black, police will look for any reason at all to perform an invasive search in any region of the states. Expect a felony charge for that joint that you're carrying, while privileged white kids get diversion. Coincidentally, that felony will get you struck from the voter rolls forever in some states.

The poor in general are familiar with realities a million times more ghastly than TSA searches. Sheriffs, police departments, DAs, and judges (especially in states where they are elected) fight efforts to adequately fund public defenders, which they see as waste. They collude and will arrest innocent people for political gain. You can be tried, convicted, and executed. As in dead.

So tell me again why I am supposed to be outraged about the chance that I will be asked to walk through a scanner at an airport.


An Intense comment on BoingBoing

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 4 years ago

A brilliant comment to a recent story on BoingBoing:

A note of appreciation from the rich

Let's be honest: you'll never win the lottery.

On the other hand, the chances are pretty good that you'll slave away at some miserable job the rest of your life. That's because you were in all likelihood born into the wrong social class. Let's face it — you're a member of the working caste. Sorry!

As a result, you don't have the education, upbringing, connections, manners, appearance, and good taste to ever become one of us. In fact, you'd probably need a book the size of the yellow pages to list all the unfair advantages we have over you. That's why we're so relieved to know that you still continue to believe all those silly fairy tales about "justice" and "equal opportunity" in America.

Of course, in a hierarchical social system like ours, there's never been much room at the top to begin with. Besides, it's already occupied by us — and we like it up here so much that we intend to keep it that way. But at least there's usually someone lower in the social hierarchy you can feel superior to and kick in the teeth once in a while. Even a lowly dishwasher can easily find some poor slob further down in the pecking order to sneer and spit at. So be thankful for migrant workers, prostitutes, and homeless street people.

Always remember that if everyone like you were economically secure and socially privileged like us, there would be no one left to fill all those boring, dangerous, low-paid jobs in our economy. And no one to fight our wars for us, or blindly follow orders in our totalitarian corporate institutions. And certainly no one to meekly go to their grave without having lived a full and creative life. So please, keep up the good work!

You also probably don't have the same greedy, compulsive drive to possess wealth, power, and prestige that we have. And even though you may sincerely want to change the way you live, you're also afraid of the very change you desire, thus keeping you and others like you in a nervous state of limbo. So you go through life mechanically playing your assigned social role, terrified what others would think should you ever dare to "break out of the mold."

Naturally, we try to play you off against each other whenever it suits our purposes: high-waged workers against low-waged, unionized against non-unionized, Black against White, male against female, American workers against Japanese against Mexican against.... We continually push your wages down by invoking "foreign competition," "the law of supply and demand," "national security," or "the bloated federal deficit." We throw you on the unemployed scrap heap if you step out of line or jeopardize our profits. And to give you an occasional break from the monotony of our daily economic blackmail, we allow you to participate in our stage-managed electoral shell games, better known to you ordinary folks as "elections." Happily, you haven't a clue as to what's really happening — instead, you blame "Aliens," "Tree-hugging Environmentalists," "*******," "Jews," Welfare Queens," and countless others for your troubled situation.

We're also very pleased that many of you still embrace the "work ethic," even though most jobs in our economy degrade the environment, undermine your physical and emotional health, and basically suck your one and only life right out of you. We obviously don't know much about work, but we're sure glad you do!

Of course, life could be different. Society could be intelligently organized to meet the real needs of the general population. You and others like you could collectively fight to free yourselves from our domination. But you don't know that. In fact, you can't even imagine that another way of life is possible. And that's probably the greatest, most significant achievement of our system — robbing you of your imagination, your creativity, your ability to think and act for yourself.

So we'd truly like to thank you from the bottom of our heartless hearts. Your loyal sacrifice makes possible our corrupt luxury; your work makes our system work. Thanks so much for "knowing your place" — without even knowing it!

[Garsh, it sounds like something Stein might say. Perhaps he's channeling the selfish, solipsistic, neo-con sentiment so succinctly stated above, eh? 8^}]

I'm guessing that Intense writes professionally somewhere. I would love to read more from this person.


D2 still broken?

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I haven't changed my settings in years, so my memory is a bit fuzzy, but it appears that I can no longer read at -1. I'm hoping this is a bug, or that the ui lost me again...

If this is meant to be a feature, slashdot just lost something that made it unique. This would be seriously bad, slashdot-ending bad. How many great posts bottom out before being seen by sane moderators? Ah... Maybe that's it. Can people with mod points browse at -1? That would still be a bad idea.


BP's New Media Campaign

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 4 years ago

A media campaign by BP's new public relations team has been launched. The team now includes former Bush Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former Cheney Press Secretary Anne Womack-Kolton.

Behold: Obama hates British people.

I would predict that this effort is so obviously cynical as to be doomed to failure, but I'm nearly always wrong about such things. It'll probably be very effective.

To give credit where credit is due, the Tory press in the U.K. was making noise as early as 2010-05-20, but it didn't immediately catch on stateside. As the Bush-Cheney spinmasters began their work, this story quickly spread to U.S. media sycophants. And then it's just a short hop from the echo chamber to "real news".

More links:

I hope it amuses somebody else that the right, who once complained about bows and speaking to Muslims, will now be righteously resisting jingoism.

Thought for the day: the oil majors are more powerful than any single nation-state, and have been since the early 20th century. See also Operation Ajax. Oh look, there's an edit war on that article... We're doomed.


NBCU/Comcast is a bet against net neutrality

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 4 years ago

The state of tech journalism is starting to become a serious problem for society.

As of the time of this journal entry, I have not heard any old media outlet mention Comcast's crusade against network neutrality as background for the merger story.

This deal demonstrates Comcast's confidence that they can stop efforts to preserve the neutral nature of the internet. Preferred delivery of NBC/Universal content is the aim of the purchase of a 51% stake from GE.

If network neutrality is an administration-wide goal, the FTC should stop this deal; or, at the very least, delay approval until the FCC rulemaking is complete.


As Seen On Glenn Beck: Net Neutrality is Socialism

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Slashdot should prepare itself for a coming crapflood of anti-NN astroturfing, now with extra John Birch Society rhetoric.

During a recent Glenn Beck interview on Fox News, a representative from Brent Bozell's MRC (who is a blogger on NewsBusters) stated that "[Net neutrality is] Socialism on the Internet".

It's hard to determine what the interview is about exactly, but the bit about Net Neutrality was woven into a narrative about some kind of Marxist/Fascist takeover of the Internet and talk radio. ClearChannel's desperate defense of the 1996 Telecommunications Act (they hated the localism regulations that the '96 law killed) has been combined with the anti-NN campaign into yet another juvenile Red Dawn fantasy, which now appears to be canon in the right-wing echo chamber.

Briefly, cable companies and telcos are now in bed with the far-right.

I watched it live, but complete transcripts of the interview are hard to come by, for some reason (it could just be me; I don't run scripts from sites like Fox's). Bits and pieces are available, and the quote appears in Google's cache. Not that there's any doubt that this campaign has begun (apparently some time in August): http://www.google.com/search?q=network+neutrality+socialism.

On a related note: This "online strategy" goes after nerds, too: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/10/us_radio_spectrum/.

On a partly unrelated note: Google seems to be getting better at using the various ways that timestamps are being marked up, and hopefully authors and designers will be using <time> more often in the future. Looking for patterns in the timestamps of obvious astroturfing could be a fruitful.



daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Your comments were a pretty good read.

I'm not a pilot IRL, but I do hack on FlightGear from time to time, and I'm totally fascinated by aviation.

This is one of the things that keeps me on slashdot. For every story, there's a good chance that someone with relevant experience will comment.


Ayn Rand was wrong

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Ayn Rand was wrong.

Rand asks us to take as a given that her conclusions necessarily follow from a logical examination of humankind, hence the term, "objectivism."

The sophism aside, the scientific advances of the last 50 years make it near certain that her conclusions were flawed; in particular, advances in the understanding of animal behavior, neurology, and cognitive science.

We now know that altruism and empathy are assets. We know that they have a biological foundation. And, rationally, we know that we possess these traits for an evolutionary reason.

If Rand could examine our existence with logic (as scientists do) now, she would have to accept that her understanding of human drives was, at best, incomplete.

But if she were alive today, I don't think she would. Her examination was not, as she believed, of the human condition; it was of herself.

She dissected her own mind and found a person with what is now known as Dissocial Personality Disorder.


Health Care Debate

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

To anyone taking seriously the fears about a public option, allow me to sum up the argument:

Government is slow, bureaucratic, inefficient, and always inferior to the private sector. Except when it isn't, in which case it is unfair competition.

Heh. Reminds me of all the ISPs suing municipalities.


The Microsoft Ads on the Reg

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

As a matter of fact, Microsoft, I do remember "before the Internet" (I'm sure you guys mean the web). I also remember you trying to fucking kill it.


Note to noscript slashdotters

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

If you're wondering why things are broken, slashdot is now using a cdn to serve their javascript. You have to allow fsdn.com



daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

The new slashcode is super.

The ajax with the scrollbar (that is just awesome), the achievements system (have you clicked on someone else's achievements and seen what happens?), the speed... Holy crap. It's just great.

To those whose browser/os can't cope with it currently: Take some comfort in the knowledge that it is working *awesome* for me (aside from maybe the markup in the firehose...).


NPR Lets Me Down

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago


Awful idea, surely implemented with crapware, hatched from a Faustian bargain with academic textbook publishers.

The story says that the price of an electronic textbook should be "about half" the price of paper textbooks. The discount should be *much* deeper than 50%, as colleges are allowing the publishers to destroy the second-hand market and take away the ability of students to hand down or retain their books. Criminal.

Hint to supporters of this scheme: The promise of technology in education is greater access for more people to information and insights, and new ways to organize information with metadata. In other words, people *sharing* in ways never before possible. You're proposing the opposite.

The story contains a contradiction that illustrates how this faculty and the new electronic distributors misunderstand the nature of the web. In the first section, "Changing With Students":

The new generation of textbooks is trying to be in tune with the way students learn in the age of Wikipedia and YouTube.

However, never in the rest of the story is an implicit assumption questioned; that is, the property that makes Wikipedia and YouTube special is that you interact with them by clicking around with an lcd panel. YouTube and Wikipedia have something much more powerful in common: Almost limitless information contributed by and accessible to anybody, efficiently organized with tons of meta.

The executive vice-president of CourseSmart and evangelist for the publishers' model of "e-book" distribution, Frank Lyman, was interviewed for the story (why?). On their humorous misunderstanding of what a blog is, I found a link to a nytimes article that isn't favorable to their plans.

Such awful reporting, with apparently no research, so soon after I was singing their praises. File this one under "breathless reading of press releases."


NPR On Linux/PS3 Supercomputing

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 5 years ago

NPR's All Things Considered discussed PS3 supercomputing in its Science Out Of The Box segment.

It's old news to most of us, and it's short on details (it's just 2 minutes long), but it cheered me up. It's nice to see a major media outlet with a some science and technology literacy.

Granted, there have been some stinkers on NPR; credulous readings of press releases and interviews with tech "experts" (people with fake nerd glasses whose only qualification is being operate an iphone without assistance), but Jacki Lyden did a great job with this story. Go NPR.


Dear Media Companies

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 6 years ago

"Piracy" is part of the cost of doing business.

Freedom comes before before profit.

You are not entitled to profit.

Innovation is better for an economy than "content".

As corollary, said economy will be fine with you being smaller, or non-existent.


The Collective

daemonburrito daemonburrito writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Alan Greenspan:

First of all, let's recognize that this is a once-in-a-half-century, probably once-in-a-century type of event.

Ah, good. Glad that's all sorted out, then.

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