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Comments

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Apache OpenOffice Reaches 100 Million Downloads. Now What?

dotancohen Re:Still need Microsoft Office unfortunately (238 comments)

I get Word and Excel files all the time that cannot be accurately read by OpenOffice or LibreOffice. Particularly .DOCX and .XLSX files.

If you send to me copies of the files with sensitive data removed, I'll file bugs and get the formatting issues fixed in future LibreOffice versions. That really is the only way to progress. My Gmail username is the same as my /. username.

Thanks.

7 hours ago
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Malware Attack Infected 25,000 Linux/UNIX Servers

dotancohen Re:I have admin'ed such a server... (220 comments)

Vendor name, please? You are not doing anyone any favors by not mentioning who they are.

about a month ago
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Build an Open-Source Electric Car In About One Hour

dotancohen Re:Fork Slashdot? (188 comments)

That sounds good. I don't want it to be _my_ project, even if I'm coding it. I come to /. for the discussion, and I'll go wherever that discussion goes, even if I have to code it.

Can we get a list of things we want and don't want from the current and past slashdot incarnations? I'll draw up a plan and as people get interested I'll start assigning responsibilities and give access to the code. Everyone here knows how to work with Git, right?

Preliminary Wants:
1) Threaded commenting.
2) Limited modding

about 2 months ago
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Build an Open-Source Electric Car In About One Hour

dotancohen Re:Fork Slashdot? (188 comments)

Unfortunately something like 15 years worth of usernames and comments, because although the comments are still owned by each respective user I doubt the database is.

User comments could probably be taken care of on a limited per-user basis by scraping the user's personal page:
http://slashdot.org/~glavenoid

If a user opens an account on slashdotan and then _logs_into_slashdot_ via slashdotan (i.e. gives slashdotan his /. username and password) then I believe that the content could be legally scraped.

I'll go register the domain and see what I can code. Anybody who is interested can email me, my Gmail username is the same as my /. username.

about 2 months ago
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Price of Amazon Prime May Jump To $119 a Year

dotancohen Re:how many products? (298 comments)

Nothing is decreasing in price. Please name ONE thing that is still the same quality as before but is lower in price.

Amazon Web Services.

Every few months I get an email that some aspect is lowering in price. Last week it was EBS: the price of storage just dropped from 10 cent/GiB/month to 5 cent/GiB/month. That, with always more and more features. The latest feature that has become widespread that I'm excited about is Virtual Private Cloud, where one can set up their entire virtual network infrastructure. VPC is free with EC2, which itself has a price decrease a few months ago.

Myself and my employer are _very_ happy AWS customers.

about 3 months ago
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When Cars Go Driverless, What Happens To the Honking?

dotancohen Re:No horns? (267 comments)

Ok, let's assume in this wondrous future, you are being driven (can't exactly call it driving if you're not in control) on some country roads and you encounter a very large bull standing in the middle of the road.

Do you really think it a good idea to deliberately get into a competition of "who's stronger with their horns" with a bull?

about 3 months ago
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Half of US Nuclear Missile Wing Implicated In Cheating

dotancohen Re:No real surprise (313 comments)

The rods are "safely subcritical" so long as the heavy elements (probably uranium in this case) remain where they should: suspended in the cast.

The term meltdown refers to the fuel rods actually melting. Gravity then differentiates the component materials: heavy stuff pools at the bottom. Once you have a pool of uranium there is danger of it becoming dense enough to become critical. There is even evidence of this having happened in nature.

about 3 months ago
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Half of US Nuclear Missile Wing Implicated In Cheating

dotancohen Re:No real surprise (313 comments)

If the core was "shut down," it would be in danger of meltdown how?

It would still be hot. Nuclear reactors don't cool down for weeks after they stop producing power. During this time they need outside electric to cool the core.

about 3 months ago
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Half of US Nuclear Missile Wing Implicated In Cheating

dotancohen Re:No real surprise (313 comments)

The same way that Fukushima's reactors did.

Nuclear reactors don't cool down for weeks after they stop producing power. During this time they need outside electric to cool the core. This particular sub was in dock, likely with the core shut down.

about 3 months ago
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Ball Lightning Caught On Video and Spectrograph

dotancohen Re:Warning: No video or pictures (120 comments)

vi is easier just type a number before i and it stutters for you,

Possibly, but that would result in the entire sentence being repeated. VI mistakes usually have rather unique signatures :) :wq

about 3 months ago
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Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse

dotancohen Re:Isn't just the keyboards (459 comments)

Actually, laptops open stand on edge just fine, as the keyboard/screen makes a nice V. Then connect a real keyboard (which is the subject of this article, anyway) and you've solved _two_ problems.

about 3 months ago
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Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse

dotancohen Re:Isn't just the keyboards (459 comments)

But unless it's IPS, rotating an LCD will shift colors because the viewing angles aren't the same for horizontal vs vertical. It also messes up font smoothing since the order of sub-pixels isn't the same (unless the OS is aware of that)

Still won't work for a laptop

It's really not so bad. I'm reading slashdot on my landscape monitor, but VIM is always open in the landscape LCD non-IPS monitor (23" LG) and it's fine. With a dark background and light fonts, there is no discernable issue of font smoothing, and the viewing angles are limited but more than adequate. When I do open an application that has a light background and dark fonts (such as a PDF) one can detect font-antialiasing issues but it really isn't a bother.

about 3 months ago
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BitTorrent's Bram Cohen Unveils New Steganography Tool DissidentX

dotancohen Re:tool? (124 comments)

From the first lines of the first file on Github:

def x(m1, m2):
                assert type(m1) is bytes
                assert type(m2) is bytes
                return (int.from_bytes(m1, 'big') ^ int.from_bytes(m2, 'big')).to_bytes(len(m1), 'big')

assert x(x(b'abc', b'def'), b'def') == b'abc'

Maybe that was added after you posted. Note that it ostensibly has a 'test' (assert) but with functions named h(), x(), I find the code very unfriendly indeed.

about 3 months ago
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Windows 9 Already? Apparently, Yes.

dotancohen Re:the root of the problem (1009 comments)

Honestly, I think this argument can be put to rest. The sales figures do not lie.

While It's nice for you that you are happy with Metro, the interface is not moving computers off the shelves. There are a lot of people who will risk staying with XP, and the security risks that go along with it, rather than switching to Metro.

The same could be said of any Linux-based OS. The sad truth is that people prefer "familiar" over "good" and so are stuck thinking that they like Windows XP.

I don't understand how these people ever by a new car, especially if the wiper control or headlamp switch is in a different place.

about 3 months ago
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Regex Golf, xkcd, and Peter Norvig

dotancohen Re:Unless Pyhon has changed recently. (172 comments)

Additionally, Python accepts in-line comments in Regexes. That alone makes it an above-average choice.

about 3 months ago
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Demonoid BitTorrent Tracker Apparently Back Online

dotancohen Re: Great news (134 comments)

Are you NSA?

GP is a karma whore, not (necessarily) NSA. Very easy to identify as they post "the slashdot line" without saying anything substantial.

about 3 months ago
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Extinct Species of Early Human Survived On Grass Bulbs, Not Meat

dotancohen Re:And that's why they're extinct (318 comments)

Tiger nuts? Grass bulbs?

You laugh, but I just recently ate Matzo balls in soup.

about 3 months ago
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Swarms of Small Satellites Set To Deliver Close To Real-Time Imagery of Earth

dotancohen Re:Digital Globe already has 41cm resolution (112 comments)

Replying to remove bad mod. When for 'insightful', hit 'redundant' instead. Sorry.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: How to handle unfixed Linux accessibility bugs?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about three weeks ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "It is commonly said that open source software is preferable because if you need something changed, you can change it yourself. Well, I am not an Xorg developer and I cannot maintain a separate Xorg fork. Xorg version 1.13.1 introduced a bug which breaks the "Sticky Keys" accessibility option. Thus, handicapped users who rely on the feature cannot use Xorg-based systems with the affected versions and are stuck on older software versions. Though all pre-bug Linux distros are soon scheduled for retirement, there seems to be no fix in sight. Should disabled users stick with outdated, vulnerable, and unsupported Linux distros or should we move to OS-X / Windows? The prospect of changing my OS, applications, and practices due to such an ostensibly small issue is frightening.

Note that we are not discussing "I don't like change" but rather "this unintentional change is incompatible with my physical disability". Thus this is not a case of every change breaks someone's workflow."
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German dam bursts

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about 10 months ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "Thousands of people have been evacuated to safety in eastern Germany after a dam burst on the swollen River Elbe and farmland was flooded in an attempt to spare towns, with meteorologists forecasting more rain.

In Magdeburg, one of the oldest cities in eastern Germany and a regional capital, some 23,000 people were asked to leave on Monday as water levels in the Elbe rose to a record 7.48 metres — about 5 metres above normal and surpassing the level reached during devastating floods in 2002."

Link to Original Source
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Linux-friendly major motherboard manufacturers?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about a year ago

dotancohen writes "I am tasked with building a few Linux machines for a small office. However, all the currently available motherboards seem to be Linux-hostile. For instance, in addition to the whole UEFI issue, my last install was a three-day affair due to the motherboard reporting a Linux-supported ethernet device (the common RTL8168) whilst it was actually using a GbE Ethernet device that does not work with the legacy drivers and didn't even work with a test Windows 7 install until the driver disk was installed. There are no current HCL for Debian or Ubuntu and I've written to Asus and Gigabyte but from both have received the expected reply: No official Linux support, install Windows for best experience.

Note that I did even turn to the two large local computer vendors asking if they could provide Linux-compatible machines ready to go, but neither of them would be of any help. What globally-available motherboards or motherboard manufacturers can one recommend today?"
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Maplesoft breached, database accessed

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about a year and a half ago

dotancohen writes "MapleSoft, makers of MatLAB competitor Maple, just emailed all their customers to inform them about the company's recent security breach. “We deeply regret any inconvenience or concerns that this situation may cause our contacts and customers,” was the most important part of the letter, added by CEO Jim Cooper."
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Kubuntu 12.04 To Drop Support For Firefox

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  about 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Yesterday it was brought up that KDE support has been dropped from the Firefox package, so the firefox-kde-support will be stripped from Kubuntu 12.04, which is an LTS release. This is becoming because the Ubuntu Firefox maintainer no longer wants to maintain the KDE support patch, which isn't mainline in Firefox."
Link to Original Source
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Study links sexual content on TV to teen pregnancy

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Sexual content on television is strongly associated with teen pregnancy, a new study shows. Researchers at the nonprofit organization RAND found that adolescents with a high level of exposure to television shows with sexual content are twice as likely to get pregnant or impregnate someone as those who saw fewer programs of this kind over a period of three years."
Link to Original Source
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Greenpeace penetrates French nuclear plant

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Greenpeace activists secretly entered a French nuclear site before dawn and draped a banner reading "Hey" and "Easy" on its reactor containment building, to expose the vulnerability of atomic sites in the country. Greenpeace said the break-in aimed to show that an ongoing review of safety measures, ordered by French authorities after a tsunami ravaged Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant earlier this year, was focused too narrowly on possible natural disasters, and not human factors."
Link to Original Source
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Gigabyte's solution to the ASPM bug: use Windows.

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Gigabyte's response regarding kernel power regression issues due to their BIOS bug:
"...since our products only support Windows OS... We suggest you to install Windows OS to prevent having problems. If you install the Windows OS and still have any problems, please provide the error message screenshot for us, so we can try to see how to help."
I wonder if Gigabyte will provide the unlock keys for the EFI boot loaders with a policy as clear as this?"

Link to Original Source
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AskSlashdot: Calculators with 1-2-3 numpads?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Although the telephone has the 1-2-3 key on the top row, most calculators and keyboards have 7-8-9 on the top row. Switching between the two destroys muscle- and spatial- memory. Do any slashdotters use a scientific calculator with 1-2-3 on the top row? I've already scraped and resoldered my Casio fx-82 calculator to have 1-2-3 on the top, and remapped the numpad in Kubuntu, but if there exist any calculators like this already on the market I'd buy two."
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Another Paypal policy update: where to find info?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Today there was yet another policy update on Paypal. There is no diff file, and the policies are all in lawyerese. My bank had a similar policy update recently, as has my domain registrar. Is there any corpus, legal or otherwise, who regulates or at least elaborates on these? Is there a legal forum to discuss these changes? How does the little citizen keep up?"
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Mars rover Spirit is no more

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "fter nearly a year of trying to reestablish communications with the Spirit Mars rover, NASA has decided to suspend efforts. Communications channels used to contact the vehicle (redesignated from "rover" to "spot" when it got stuck in a sand trap) will be used to develop a communications base wit hthe next Mars rover: the ambitious Mars Science Laboratory."
Link to Original Source
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Fedora 16 will number user UIDs from 1000

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 2 years ago

dotancohen writes "Sharing users between Fedora and Debian-based distros just got a little easier. Beginning with Fedora 16, the Red-Hat based distro will number it's human user UIDs starting from 1000, as opposed to the old 500. Though this change is intended to facilitate interoperability with other distros, it risks breaking backward compatibility with older Fedora releases including the newly released Fedora 15."
Link to Original Source
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The Organic Elite Surrenders To Monsanto

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "In the wake of a 12-year battle to keep Monsanto's GE crops from contaminating 25,000 organic farms and ranches, America's organic consumers and producers are facing betrayal. A self-appointed cabal of the Organic Elite, spearheaded by Whole Foods Market, Organic Valley, and Stonyfield Farm, has decided it's time to surrender to Monsanto. "The policy set for GE alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other GE crops as well. True coexistence is a must.""
Link to Original Source
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Paypal alternatives?

dotancohen dotancohen writes  |  more than 3 years ago

dotancohen (1015143) writes "It seems that everything that I used to do with Paypal is gone, and nobody has found a good alternative yet. This month I tried donating to Anki (but Paypal is no longer serving Japan for donations) and Virtual Identity (which stopped accepting Paypal due to the Wikileaks incident). The authors of both software are looking for alternatives. What can we recommend to them? What reliable and inexpensive money-transfer services exist today? What do you use?"

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