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Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

dltaylor in hipster neighborhoods, car engines (790 comments)

Between the electric cars and bicycles, internal combustion motor sounds are becoming rare, and I happen to appreciate a well-tuned exhaust (think 1969 Camaro 350 or Z/28).

These go back more than a century, so they need to be preserved.

about two weeks ago
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Radio, Not YouTube, Is Still King of Music Discovery

dltaylor not broadcast, but internet streams (126 comments)

I haven't tuned a radio to a station in ages, but my preamp has internet radio capability that I use frequently (and donate/subscribe). I can also get streams on my Ouya, through XBMC and plugins.

The FCC really screwed up one of my favorite radio stations. They gave an LPFM (low-power KOCI) the same frequency as a powerhouse down the coast. I can only get the LPFM in a few block radius. Fortunately, the LPFM also has a shoutcast stream, so it's available on my computers, main sound system, the bedroom, and at work.

about two weeks ago
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Closure On the Linux Lockup Bug

dltaylor hardening is NOT blaming the hardware (115 comments)

Too many clueless comments already that don't understand the difference between "blaming the hardware" and hardening to deal with demonstrably-broken hardware (and/or firmware for devices). I've spent years writing drivers for various OS', including Windows and Linux. It is rare for any complex device to be bug-free at the hardware level (look how many patches are BIOS-applied to CPUs, for example). Sometimes, under NDA, of course, the Windows driver writers are apprised of the deficiencies, or, at least, get better response from the vendor when an anomaly appears. Linux rarely gets that same assistance.

My favorite example, though, is all-IBM. We were porting AIX to the PS/2s and 370s. We consistently had problems with the diskette interface under AIX and the response from Boca Raton was always "it works in MS-DOS, so it's your code, not our hardware". When OS-2 came around, they ran into exactly the same problem in the hardware. By then, we had a work-around (slower, more locks, but no more glitches) which was how OS-2 got around it, as well.

about two weeks ago
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Russia Says Drivers Must Not Have "Sex Disorders" To Get License

dltaylor Russians, help me understand (412 comments)

Resident or expats, please try to fill in the blanks.

Is there simply enough anti-homosexual bias in Russian culture, as in much of the USofA, for Putin to make political "points" by picking on them?

Is he thinking of using a relatievly powerless "out" group for a Kristallnacht if the economy experiences problems due to falling oil prices?

Pay-back, which he is known to do, for not supporting his acquisition of power?

Wild idea: is he thinking he can pressure homosexuals to produce more children as as some sort of social "cover", to build a population for a war?

Something else?

about two weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

dltaylor Re:Right Place (almost) (448 comments)

So, how much less WITHOUT ESPN?

As a TWC "customer", I'm stuck paying off the billions that they stupidly gave the LA Dodgers, and there's nothing short of internet-only that, at least for now, gets me out from under that load. Should we all switch to that model, I suspect that the internet-only price will go through the roof, since our only alternative is AT&T, which is hardly a low-cost, consumer-friendly provider.

I'm really hoping that there's a data-only plan coming from T-Mobile or Sprint that lets me cut TWC out of the loop completely, even if there's a bandwidth and latency cost.

about three weeks ago
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Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

dltaylor listen/read skeptically (381 comments)

It's a very long distance from fanciful imagery in ancient texts (Ezekiel's wheel is a UFO, obviously, for example) to the historical existence of a nuclear war.

Explanations for natural and/or artifical oddities have to be seriously sought before giving credence to theories developed by those looking to use seeming correlations to bolster possible fantasies. How many times has Nostradamus been proved "correct"? It is a human trait to look for correlations; if the first three times your tribe passed a rock outcropping it was attacked by a lion, maybe those who noticed the pattern survived to pass down the trait of observation. There is, to my knowlege, never been a seriously funded and staffed attempt to look for rational explanations for fear of offending the believers.

We make artificial diamonds now; it's just not cost-effective compared to low-wage workers digging and dying in Africa.

When's the last time Buddhists staged a jihad?

about three weeks ago
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Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

dltaylor Re:Justin Wilson (381 comments)

Just repeating a VERY old joke. I first heard it back in the late 1950s.

about three weeks ago
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How Civilizations Can Spread Across a Galaxy

dltaylor Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) on a glacier (272 comments)

Reminds me of the bit from A Tramp Abroad where the companions were planning to get from the mountain to the village by riding down on glacier.

Turned out to be faster to walk.

about three weeks ago
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US Slaps Sanctions On North Korea After Sony Cyberattack

dltaylor just submitted comment to whitehouse.gov (231 comments)

As a slightly-more-in-touch segment of the population, many of us already discounted the FBI's claim against NK, and (I hope) nearly all of us now understand that it was an inside job. Let President Obama know that his sanctions just make him look foolish.

about three weeks ago
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New Year's Resolution for 2015

dltaylor Re:Learn to drive (214 comments)

No; learn to ride a motorcycle. Use a professional teacher, not a "friend who rides".

I know that there are many days on that island that are considered by many as unsuitable for riding (see Richard Hammond riding to Edinburgh on a Vincent, for example), but there are also glorious days both there and on the Continent (Richard Hammond in the South of France). If you're so minded, there are plugin electrics, though a bit expensive (this onehttp://www.energicasuperbike.com/ is on my wishlist).

about a month ago
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Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?

dltaylor not really likely (282 comments)

NK denied it, rather than taking credit.

Their tools are widely distributed, so faking the source is really easy.

The US government is weird combination of ineptitude and self-aggrandizement, so the FBI claims are likely pure BS designed to make the claimants look good (they were SOOO sure that had profiled the Yosemite killer years ago that it only took two more deaths to prove them wrong).

about a month ago
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Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

dltaylor Re:One number to breach them all (97 comments)

"I can only think the reason it hasn't been fixed is because fraud makes the banks money"

No, the reason is that the CTO/CFO/CIO/Cxo don't go to jail for criminal negligence.

about a month ago
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Schneier Explains How To Protect Yourself From Sony-Style Attacks (You Can't)

dltaylor Re:Which is why (343 comments)

Then you're doing it wrong.

Everything that passes through wires outside of your building should be in a VPN, or equivalent. In reality, most of what passes through wires INSIDE your building should be in a VPN, too. Anything over WiFi is broadcast to the planet, and treat it as such.

about a month ago
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At 40, a person is ...

dltaylor took up snowboarding at 50 (286 comments)

I suppose that means that 40 is still too young to figure out what you want to do (besides sex, of course).

about a month ago
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Book Review: Build Your Own Website: A Comic Guide to HTML, CSS, and WordPress

dltaylor Re:Get off my lawn! (RTF rules) (31 comments)

I had to finally quit editing my resume in emacs, working on the raw text of an RTF document. To many companies have no clue what an RTF is, so I finally gave in and use LibreOffice to save it as a DOC.

about a month ago
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The Joker Behind the Signetics 25120 Write-Only Memory Chip Hoax

dltaylor more useful than Intel's EEPROMs (100 comments)

There was a time when some of Intel's EEPROMs (1702As, IIRC, but, maybe, 2048s) were write/read-maybe. Seems some materials guy got a really good deal on some clay to make the ceramic carrier. Only problem was that the clay was radioactive enough for the emissions to change the stored data. Back in those days (1702s were only 256 BYTES), the storage cells weren't all that robust, so enough decay particles hitting the cells could flip them.

Think THAT didn't take a while to track down?

about a month ago
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Seagate Bulks Up With New 8 Terabyte 'Archive' Hard Drive

dltaylor these are WORM drives (219 comments)

Write Once Read Mostly

Shingled media is almost useless for random access, since rewriting a logical block means relocating its entire "shingle" strip somewhere else., then, at some other time, garbage-collecting the entire region and relocating the still-in-use blocks. You definitely want to run these "noatime", to prevent thrashing directory blocks, and they should probably have a new filesystem designed for them.

Some have tried tinkering with flash filesystems due to the "copy/invalidate/garbage collect" and the LBAs are gathered in some larger storage block in no particular order, and that storage block needs to be managed. Don't know if Seagate will tell us what the size of a erase block (a set of overlapping, concentric "shingles", which have to be collected as a group) really is, or if they'll even be a consistent size.

If you're streaming from them, you may hit "garbage collect" long access times, and I don't know what proprietary commands and settings may be available, if any, to tell the drive "now is a good time to do housekeeping".

As "archive media", shingled drives probably work OK, since that is a WROM application, but, personally, I would NOT use them on any existing file system.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple's iPod Classic Refuses To Die

dltaylor ecosystem outside of Apple (269 comments)

There is a lot of stuff out there (cars, gym equipment, for example) with connectors for the original iPods. Apple, being the %$#! they are, of course, changed those connectors, so newer Apple devices don't work with the existing ecosystem. There's an adapter for my 2004 car that works quite well with an older iPod, but nothing new. If I want to bring my library to that car, it must be in an older iPod (no USB port).

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Torchwood: Is rape acceptable?

dltaylor dltaylor writes  |  more than 7 years ago

dltaylor (7510) writes "In the premier episode of "Torchwood", a "Doctor Who" spin-off from the BBC, one of the regular supporting characters, "Owen Harper" is shown to be a serial rapist, yet he receives no punishment, ironic comeuppance, or even approbation. He uses a "foreign" substance as a date-rape chemical to cause uncontrollable lust toward himself, on both a disinterested female and a hostile male, and the behavior is serial because he packs it to the pub, anticipating the chemical's effect. This is not a prank. Rape destroys lives. Picture yourself as either of the victims, unable to understand why you acted so completely outside of your normal character. There will be no sympathy or support from anyone, since you will be assumed to have been a willing participant, either trying to excuse yourself or having had your inhibitions reduced by a bit of alcohol. Has rape become such a common occurrence that it is now acceptable in the supposed "good guys" of television? If so, why should we cheer for our species in the "us vs. them"?"

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