Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Isaac Asimov: How Do People Get New Ideas?

ediron2 Re:Well worth reading? (140 comments)

> Asimov's essay, which is well worth reading in its entirety:

No, it isn't. John Cleese's thoughts on the matter are much more thoughtful and thought provoking.

Even if Cleese's work is more insightful than Asimov's, it doesn't make Asimov's uninteresting or not worth reading.

Yeah, that comment brings to mind folks that insist they are arbiters of funny, and that they *have* a sense of humor.

Except this time people are trying to nail something inchoate down and they're back behind everyone's shoulder saying 'no, you're all wrong.'

yesterday
top

Isaac Asimov: How Do People Get New Ideas?

ediron2 Re:Well worth reading? (140 comments)

Both are good. Interestingly, Asimov's contrived sinecure/forum resembles the BBC comedy writing teams decades ago: a paycheck, a roomful of brilliance, a target (funny but broadcastable) and free reign to be as ludicrous as is needed. Doug Adams, Monty Python, Laurie & Fry, The Young Ones -- all describe their BBC time very warmly. Ditto friends from

Oh, and you most remind me of someone who says '... and I *have* a sense of humor.'

yesterday
top

Safercar.gov Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

ediron2 Re:Build for peak, not average (119 comments)

I agree, but net traffic peak isn't suited for well-engineered designs. Maximums become absurd. When building a bridge, design is for maximum load x a safety factor (10, often). You put weight points equalling a fleet of big heavy trucks (65,000lbs GVW) on the bridge model, bumper to bumper, and do static/dynamic loading. You model 120-mph winds, or 150 or whatever.

The archtype here is 'slashdotting'. Peak load isn't a value you look up in a handy reference. It isn't an estimate or '10x what you've seen for a peak so far'. In the internet age, peak is whatever the fuck the internet is willing to throw at you. I run a tiny site with a few hundred hits per day. When we've published something that got MASSIVE attention, our little '$6/month' shared-hosting drupal site got half a million hits in the first 12 hours one time, 120k the other.

If my blog was a bridge, it'd be some rural span that sees a car every 4 minutes. A 1-sigma peak is 20 in a minute (wooo!). My site can handle that. At 500k hits in 12 hours, or the local peak moment of 200k hits in an hour, that's 3000 cars per minute. The car analogy is big trucks stacked fifteen deep vertically, creating a third lane up the middle, carrying 25 tons of rocks apiece...

Frankly, I'm amazed my little shared-hosting ISP (A Small Orange) still puts up with us after 3 such nuisances (resisting a bogus copyright takedown, forwarding the issue to me).

Short of Amazon/Rackspace cloud designs, it SUCKS to buy hardware that sits idle. Good engineering in frugal organizations for stuff like this is to build conservatively, track load, have a departmental fund for scaling up when load is consistently too high, and if you're lucky having a proxy or dynamic-content-shedding plan in place to deliver key static content, etc. It's not a rack of pizzaboxes for today, when a single app/db pair can dish out the content the other thousand days of the project's production life.

yesterday
top

Developers, IT Still Racking Up (Mostly) High Salaries

ediron2 Re:Hold on a minute (191 comments)

Well put. As long as we insist that the most viable metrics are economic, things won't improve. Quality can be shaved, paychecks can be squeezed, headcounts can be reduced, pollution can be diluted, teachers can be dissed... all introduce hidden costs.

The only great teachers I had that stuck with their crappy paychecks were second incomes into households (a working spouse), retired military (so they also had a pension), and a couple of magnificent lunatics that knew they were getting screwed but cared too much about teaching to step away. Kudos to every one of them, but like that bad 'Karma' remark by Microsoft CEO Nadella, they deserve better.

2 days ago
top

Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

ediron2 Re:iPod Classic (730 comments)

Look online (ebay, etc). Vendors are refurbing ipods just this way. 250 gig refurb gen5's are going Buy-it-now for $400. Smaller ones with prices on down to $150.

about a month and a half ago
top

AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

ediron2 Why aren't there versions (533 comments)

Why all this silliness on a moving target. Much like USB 1, 2, and 3, network 'Category' notation and in a human-oriented alternative to the acronym soups for SCSI, PCI and other communication protocols WHY THE HELL AREN'T WE PUSHING FOR a standard that can keep pace and inform users trivially/ steadily:

  • B1 - roadband 1 - More than 250Kbps down, 150Kbps up.
  • B2 - Broadband 2 - More than 4Mbps down, 500Kbps up
  • B3 - Broadband 3 - More than 10Mbps down, 2Mbps up
  • ... etc, as time dictates.

Or some other ranges. I don't care about these specific numbers. I just hate that an ISP thinks they deserve to control the definition.

about a month and a half ago
top

Taking the Ice Bucket Challenge With Liquid Nitrogen

ediron2 Re:so the T-1000 shouldn't have frozen? (182 comments)

OK, for starters, I also groaned about the absurdity of a freezy T-1000. From day 1, that's bugged me. But there's a LOT of bad physics and bad biology going on in the movie. But the T-1000 being 77K? That seems unlikely due to the physics of the rest of the show:

  • A system at 77 degrees kelvin would need a massive, elaborate heat-exchange system to maintain that temperature throughout everything. If this were a design aspect, it would need even more elaborate systems to prevent failure due to heat/fire. Energy consumption for cooling is one of the most inefficient mechanisms, so this would also bump up their magical-power-generator demands a few notches. But hey, what's impossible times ten instead of merely impossible energy storage and heat exchange.
  • More importantly, every time the robot had steady/sustained contact with other mechanical devices / systems, they'd have extreme-cold failure modes. The throttle and brake grips on the motorcycle. His 'not-really-boots' on anything they touched (foot pedals). Firearms (especially the automatic actions) get sluggish and failure-prone around 20-below F, which is about 150 degrees kelvin hotter than you're suggesting. Anything that didn't have specialized extreme-cold lubricants, or (worse) did have residual-water, would start to seize up. Rubber would become brittle. Explosive activity would cause cracking: guns might crack more with each gunshot (at areas in contact with the T-1000) until they rather explosively failed.

Incidentally, liquid-metal self-modifying systems, like the monster in 'The Thing', are just far enough beyond science fiction to be called fantasy. Laws of information storage density pretty much make molecules capable of cataloging a myriad of design specs large and complex enough that they'll be brittle, and the resulting creature would likely be designed to be able to hemorrhage off damaged cells (and shrink) during emergencies and reacquire material slowly later. Under steady gunfire or in a fire, these things would either cruft up fast or steadily get smaller faster than they could assemble replacement molecules

(relevant cite: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/bo... "Although single origins are sufficient to direct the replication of bacte-rial and viral genomes, multiple origins are needed to replicate the much larger genomes of eukaryotic cells within a reasonable period of time. For example, the entire genome of E. coli (4 Ã-- 106 base pairs) is replicated from a single origin in approximately 30 minutes. If mammalian genomes (3 Ã-- 109 base pairs) were replicated from a single origin at the same rate, DNA replication would require about 3 weeks (30,000 minutes). The problem is further exacerbated by the fact that the rate of DNA replication in mammalian cells is actually about tenfold lower than in E. coli, possibly as a result of the packaging of eukaryotic DNA in chromatin. Nonetheless, the genomes of mammalian cells are typically replicated within a few hours, necessitating the use of thousands of replication origins.").

So, new material can't just be instantly assimilated, so the monsters in both should get smaller... and smaller... and smaller, if fought steadily. So... let's make the biophysics for this problem plausible: A few hits on T-1000 by gunfire and rocket launchers, he splatters everywhere, and a T-900 marches at you. Then a T-800, etc. At T-25 size, he jumps into an air duct and runs away. Two weeks later, he resurfaces full-size. Meanwhile, that splatter residue has a few working molecules that have slithered out of a crack between floor and wall to a nearby desk in the Precinct, been ingested as part of Officer Stadanko's jelly donut, and he's not answering phone calls. Yep: the Thing, but with a three-week infection period like Ebola. Much harder to hunt. So, if mechanical or biological generation WAS possible, and constrained to sane physics to where steady, sustained significant damage had an effect, you'd think either of those monsters would have had some guidance that nondetection and stealth were more important than speed. They didn't need to rush.

about a month and a half ago
top

Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

ediron2 Re:"Net neutrality", my ass. (91 comments)

I pick **D** -- Any or all of the above, as deemed appropriate by a Public Utilities Commission and economists / engineers they supervise.

We do this. A LOT. Public Utility regulatory bodies have MORE THAN A CENTURY OF PRACTICE IN NEARLY EVERY STATE, in multiple similar infrastructure types. Stop pretending this is impossible. It's a shitty straw man invented by the same deregulatory wonks that got us into this mess in the first place.

I'm neither Socialist nor Libertarian. Both are false utopias with no shining example. I like REGULATED MARKETS. CUZ THAT SHIT JUST WORKS.

about 2 months ago
top

Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

ediron2 Re:What are you downloading? (355 comments)

I get pretty close to there, especially during summer and christmas breaks. Teens, multiple netflix/hulu/youtube/etc streams, gaming and my telework via VPN. The perfect storm. Streaming 5G on a day off isn't incredibly hard. Three simultaneous feeds makes it trivial.

FWIW, my ISP briefly was selling a 50Mbps service with a 50G monthly cap.

about 2 months ago
top

CenturyLink: Comcast Is Trying To Prevent Competition In Its Territories

ediron2 Re:what's wrong with cherry picking? (110 comments)

Ad hominem from an AC. Priceless.

Incidentally, fuck you. Plenty of grownups are bored with Republican corruption and egoism: Corporate conservatives have had 30 years (1980-present) of steady control during which they've removed more and more regulations. In that time the economic situation has steadily worsened for most of us. IMHO, it's counterpoint to Soviet communism: your little experiment failed because it was undermined by one of two defining human traits: Greed and Laziness. In between, a regulated market mechanism exploits the tension between these to create wider prosperity and enough incentive to get ahead / get rich.

about 2 months ago
top

CenturyLink: Comcast Is Trying To Prevent Competition In Its Territories

ediron2 Re:what's wrong with cherry picking? (110 comments)

Thanks, was coming to say something about like this... somewhere along the last few decades, conservatives have managed to trick us into thinking that 'the government' is Them, not Us.

Yup, what this project needs is a good co-op. Plus an oversight board. And technical staff to maintain it. A consistent, balanced funding mechanism where everyone has to chip in. Oh, and a process for citizens to provide feedback and retain control. In short... town government.

about 2 months ago
top

13-Year-Old Finds Fungus Deadly To AIDS Patients Growing On Trees

ediron2 Re:The Tools of Science (134 comments)

Science is proper data collection, too. She did science.

Don't get me wrong, GP does seem to have a hate going for scientists -- Maybe there's an innocent reason; maybe they've got a bad case of the Mondays, or maybe they're just cromag antisci doofuses -- It sure seems like half the stuff that spins people up boils down to simple-minded people getting everything deconstructed and predigested down to shittily-written innacurate morality plays and 'ooga booga' sorts of us-vs-them scary narratives. One common narrative is jumping to a wrong "Yaaay, a girl proved science bad, scientists lazy!!" conclusion.

Very unscientific of them. Let's all take 5 seconds to be quietly shocked... ... but don't shit on either the girl (not named) or Doctors Heitman, Filler (or their unnamed and doubtless overworked/underpaid grad assistants). This is only getting press because nimrods like those tidy narratives. In a perfect world, it'd be a better article, linked to 'how you can do this, too' instructables etc.

about 2 months ago
top

Study: Ad-Free Internet Would Cost Everyone $230-a-Year

ediron2 Re:$230 (611 comments)

We should get t-shirts and a secret handshake (how about SYN-ACK-ACKSYNACK).

Reminds me of years ago when a telephone surveyor asked me how much time I spent online. "Ahh... um... 15 hours" "Per week?" "Per day." "..(long silence)..."

about 2 months ago
top

MIT Used Lobbying, Influence To Restore Nuclear Fusion Dream

ediron2 Re:Falling funding: Why fusion stays 30 years away (135 comments)

A few moments googling confirms: Maury's Markowitz is up to his elbows in Solar Energy. Given his advocacy for solar, his head would explode if anyone talked about Solar with hyperbole and absolutely-nevers like he's done here.

Speaking as a degreed engineer and physicist, with childhood classmates, neighbors and professional colleagues now decades into their work in both next-gen fission and current fusion reactor design, I definitely get a bad vibe from all of Maury's hyperbole. They agree that fusion is challenging. But fusion isn't remotely analogous to vacuum tubes, nor is work and progress stalled. Maury's selling the impossibility of fusion, I doubt he's remotely qualified, and he's exaggerating to do so.

Nice Try, solar guy. IMHO, the worst kind of bad science is advocacy that overreaches your expertise, because it can smell true to other scientists. Next time, start with 'I'm __ with ____ (Solar), and here's why I've bet my career on solar:'

about 4 months ago
top

Bill Blunden's Rejected DEF CON Presentation Posted Online

ediron2 Re:it was rejected for obvious reasons. (40 comments)

My kingdom for some modpoints... someone mod this up.

Black Hat = The Marketing and Money of Security.
Defcon = The Tech of Security
BSides = small con, feels like old Defcon.

Don't get me wrong, there's some amazing researchers and tech funded by Black Hat money. An unlimited project expense account can let you do fun stuff like functional x-ray lithography as a reverse-engineering tool. But Black Hat isn't thousands of engineers, scientists, and hackers getting their geek-freak on.

about 5 months ago
top

Swedish Fare Dodgers Organize Against Transportation Authorities

ediron2 Re: Public transit (389 comments)

> a bus carrying 40 passengers probably means 15+ cars that are not on the road.

In the US, 40 people on a bus probably means 35-40 cars not on the road.

about 5 months ago
top

Kepler-186f: Most 'Earth-Like' Alien World Discovered

ediron2 Re:Great, now all we need to do... (239 comments)

It's a reference to a rather hillarious quote by Rip Torn's character in Dodgeball.

about 6 months ago
top

Student Records Kids Who Bully Him, Then Gets Threatened With Wiretapping Charge

ediron2 Re:Rewarding the bullies... (798 comments)

You're **slightly** mistaken. In many states you an record audio if you are one of the parties being recorded.

about 6 months ago
top

All Packages Needed For FreedomBox Now In Debian

ediron2 Re:In plain English, what's a FreedomBox? (54 comments)

FreedomBox is a community project to develop, design and promote[1] personal servers running free software for distributed social networking, email and audio/video communications.[2] The project was announced by Eben Moglen at the New York ISOC meeting on February 2, 2010.[3]

src: wikipedia entry for freedombox.

If that is mumbo-jumbo to you, you're really not likely to be in a position to contribute code or docs.

about 6 months ago
top

Pro-Vaccination Efforts May Be Scaring Wary Parents From Shots

ediron2 Re:Flu Shots are Ruining Vaccinations (482 comments)

Ignoring AC's 'ASSHOLE' remark below, you were doing ok in paragraphs 1 & 2 ((statistically; it is possible for virii to be a greater threat to 30-y.o. men) . Hell, even paragraph 3 is mostly good. But the last dozen or so words swerved into the fallacy of it being safe or prudent to not get the shot.

Vaccination and flu shots are about protecting everyone, including coincidental spread, and including outlier events. GP is misconstruing good medicine into something absurd in the name of toughening his immune system.

GP, try rationalizing that you're being 'tougher' by getting immunized. Your body gets forced to generate the antibodies even if you never get infected. Beyond that, if you need to live your dream of making yourself strong, try eating food that hit the floor or is past it's sell-by date. Lick coins and the handlebars at the supermarket for all I care. But don't get contagious. That's not a strengthening thing at all.

Get the shot, regardless. Advocate it at work. Spread good science. Anything less is enabling the dumbass Jennymac's of the world.

about 8 months ago

Submissions

ediron2 hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

top

CNet blames Americans for botnets. Me:SAY WHAT?!

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Just stumbled into a CNet editorial/story on California botnet-creator J. Ancheta.

The article lede hints that Americans are cashing in on hacking as much or more than the russians. Cool, I thought, they're gonna discuss the money trail *back* to corporate America (you have noticed that Disney and travel agencies and others sub-sub-subcontract click-thru contracts that rely on popups and bots to drag users to their sites, haven't you?). Like with spyware and spam, the people that profit of adware and identity-oriented crimes are close enough to USE our information profitably, not the Russians and Bulgarians. But the big money is in extorition. I'd heard rumblings of this last week from SANS Research VP, Allen Paller, and hoped that this story would at least call attention to Americans' role as the financiers of botnets and trojans. I was wrong.

Instead, the article takes Ancheta's case and tries to handwave it into something big like Spamford Wallace or other spam kings. But along the way, it lies with the statistics. Well, not exactly *lies*.... CNet editor Rob Vamosi just hopes you won't pay attention:

"Given his modest aspirations, Ancheta lived a rather luxurious lifestyle, often seen driving his 1993 BMW and spending upward of $600 a week on new clothes and car parts." ...

"Overall, Ancheta is said to have made about $60,000 over a six-month period." ...

"The above crimes are not the result of a mafia crime syndicate. This is the work of one kid employed at an Internet cafe in Downey, California, suddenly living a life of luxury."

A kid that still fixes his own car?! Priceless!! A profit value that probably ties back to the indictment (and prosecuters always inflate damages!!!). I mean, c'mon! The kid drives a 12-year-old beemer. Ho. Lee. Shit. That is the best tie-in to US involvement in internet crime they could find!? Even Deputy Dawg would fall asleep over this guy's criminal spree.

Meanwhile, internet crime is officially a Big Deal. Paller's most-conservative estimate on the size of the organized internet crime economy is $5 Billion. Other experts hint that the numbers may be in the tens of billions. But even at $5 billion, it'd take 83,000 little pissant bot-farmers to make those numbers. That's pretty unlikely.

What we're really up against is more likely a handful of crime syndicates locking a dozen hackers apiece up at gunpoint and using their handiwork to extort $100k or more per vulnerability out of online casinos, fortune 500 firms, online giants like eBay and Amazon, and the likes.

What a travesty of reportage. I miss the days when CNet aspired to be the online news of record for the tech industry.

top

WhyFoe art thou?

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Ever wondered 'WHY did I foe that username?'

I do, sometimes. Mostly because I use foes to thin out the chaff... obvious idiots, razor-edge trolls writing stuff that drags you into an argument only to realize you've just fallen for the classic 'never wrestle with pigs' blunder, people that act like experts when they're not (this seems to happen the most with space/nasa topics).

But short of trundling around a dataset of some sort, all I could do is bitch about slashdot lacking a comment field in the friends/foes list.

But today, after I got sucked into an exchange with a conservative over women in IT, it occurred to me... I foed the person, then started to write a comment to them, realized I was wasting time, hit the del-key a zillion times, and changed my reply:

Subject: Foed
Message: Ping! There went the bozo bit!

Now I have a message history that shows the 2 comments that I posted to this person, links to their messages, and my 'Foed' subject line. Quick and tidy, eh?

It still isn't ideal (even a *date* for when the foe-flag is set would be useful... esp. if it came with slashdot links to 'show this user's comments just prior to X date'). But it's something. It'll do.

top

There really is a 'there' there.

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  about 9 years ago

Just read this Complaint about critics reading too much into stuff, and before I could kick the poster upside the head like River (just came back from Serenity.... awesome), someone else did a good-'nuff job of correcting them.

But that left me with my posting. So, here's my little exposition on (drum roll...)

Critics finding meaning where the creator insists they never even intended it:

Bitching about comix-critics reminds me of wine critics and the likes.

I used to think wine reviews were utter nonsense. What the hell does 'playful' taste like? Or even something simple like oaky or plastic.

Then a friend dragged me to a tasting with an expert that took the time to 'splain stuff to us mere mortals. More importantly, he'd ask us to describe things. One thing led to another, and now I'm convinced. I'm even a certified Beer Judge.

Another reply hit the nail on the head: just because the creator didn't consciously plan things out doesn't mean the themes and meaning aren't there. Since the first cave-dweller grunted out the first morality play, we've been storytellers and listeners. What makes a good story is borderline instinctual after all these generations, and a good storyteller doesn't need to know s**t from semiotics to do their job. Heck, it's probably in our DNA.

Criticism isn't just about dissecting the story at hand. It is also about learning about ourselves, learning to pay attention to things at a greater detail, and putting names to the details that link together the stuff we like, or the stuff we dislike. And putting a name to stuff sometimes wakes us up to truths that otherwise are floating just out of focus.

The first tasting I went to, some guy said 'tastes like a new car smells', and we all nodded and said 'mmm, yeah, 'sactly!'. Finding a description for something is hard damn work. And that's where 'playful' comes in, when you're talkin' food criticism or artistic style.

Once you accept the limitations of language, you bend the language and look inwards to figure out what YOU think the critic means and if you agree. If you don't, you'll want to respond -- and if you do, you'll sound just like a critic. And (like so many other aspects of life) most folks don't bother. They'd rather sleepwalk thru the hard stuff. But that assuredly doesn't mean the meaning isn't there.

top

Submarines apparently aren't slashdot fodder...

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I've spent the vast majority of my casual browsing the past few days trying to track the status/news on the Russian 7-man sub.

For anyone that didn't hear, they're on the surface and ok.

Meanwhile, finding current and accurate news has been horrible. I didn't realize how used to immediate news via internet sources I'd gotten until this. Usually, if I can't find news streams that are immediate/current enough via news.google, I resort to slashdot's story on the subject, read the comments to find suggestions on the best feed around.

But not on this.

Slashdot's coverage? (cue sound: Crickets)...

Between the geopolitical significance of US/UK military aircraft *landing* on Kamchatka, the technical issues, deep-water rescue talk, the nature of the grid-thing that they were tangled up in, URL recommendations for good news feeds, comments by nerds with connected friends, etc... this story screamed a need for slashdot. news.google had 2700 stories in the story index earlier this evening.

And where the bleeding hell was slashdot? I have looked, but been unable to find any story on this. Did I miss it!?

By the way, WTF are the scuba-at-200-meters implications, since the scuba depth record is 300 meters... I'm sure cold and other issues are why one of these ultra-deep divers wasn't just flown out there to dive down with a hacksaw or 700 feet of air hose and an extension cord for power, but I'm curious, in case anyone knows.

And how is it possible that some other mechanism for rescue couldn't be deployed 700 vertical feet, including bladders capable of buoying up 70 tons, those dudes in the captain-nemo/Men-of-honor gear, or whatever. I understand 3000-12000 feet gets hellish, but are things truly that ugly 600' down?!

It took ages to scrounge up weathersat photos, I was nearly driven *mad* trying to keep track of times being reported in Eastern, GMT, Moscow, China, Kamchatka and a half-dozen other reference frames, I found some great quotes when I babelfished my way around some russian news sites (pravda.ru and a tv site... ntn?)... and throughout, I was a bit in awe of the fact that military aircraft from US and UK were given permission to fly into a soviet military base that is so restrictive that KAL-007 was shot down for coming within 50 miles of it.

(OK, on checking, KAL-007 got shot down near Sakhalin, after crossing Kamchatka... and why KAL-007 was shot down is a story full of surprises.)

A last thought: a couple hours ago, as the british sub started hacking away on cables, it finally occurred to me that a journal would have been better than nothing at trying to build a peer-discussion. By then, it was too late. But next time...

top

Power and Character

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 9 years ago CleverNickName just did something ethical, and someone expressed mock shock to learn celebrities with ethics still existed.

Ages ago, heard an interview with Tom Clancey. When Hunt For Red October became famous, he privately mentioned to a well-connected friend that he was worried that the fame would get to him and he'd become a jerk.

Friend said, based on a lifetime of watching a *lot* of DC's powerful both before and after they became powerful, that power didn't destroy character. It *revealed* character. People that became jerks simply lacked grace or class and had been hiding that flaw under a veneer until they felt they no longer needed to.

That said, watch yourself carefully for a few days. Almost everyone I know has great and horrible moments. Last weekend, getting gas at some c-store at 5am, I watched a customer turn into a pit-viper, verbally slashing the clerk that had screwed stuff up a bit. I watched the whole thing, and from a to z, it made sense:

  • Customer was cranky for being up early, or late, or whatever.
  • Clerk was giving the job the minimum of his $6/hr or whatever worth of attention. He was either asleep, a dolt, or didn't care at all.
  • Customer used it as an excuse to overreact.

So, sometimes outside factors kick in.

Fame lets you get away with a lot (you would not believe how silly celebrities can get w/r/t ordering off the menu or making other absurd requests). It also puts you under a vicious microscope: eventually, the misdeeds get published.

top

A funny phone-spam comment

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Not much surprises me in tactics for handling unwanted phone-spam, but this response to telemarketers made me laugh...

Any more, I just blurt out "Sorry-not-interested-Please-take-this-number-off-your-list- Don't-call-again-'bye!" and hang up. Otherwise, if I'm in a mood where pickin' the wings off something helpless seems fun, I use 'em for social engineering experimentation, make sounds intended to scare them into calling 9-1-1, or just say 'yeah, hold on..." and set the phone down until they hang up.

top

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 9 years ago Well, crap. That didn't turn out like I wanted... Screwed up in reverse, we used to call this.

I'm getting modded up 'insightful' for a bit of side advice. Story is 'side jobs', someone muttered about their hellish job and how they drink a lot and are updating their resume, and I gave them a bullet list of 'GET OUT' and similar advice. And I forgot to throw in context (I almost always add it in, but this one was meant to be a side remark).

I wonder if this sucker's just destined to climb up just high enough to get shit-kicked all the way back down to zero for being off topic or inflammatory. And I *liked* my message. I just didn't expect it to ever mod higher than 1 or 2.

Incidentally, if you're working in some sweatshop, or married to a pager, or anyone hints you're not appreciated/respected, or whatever, read the comment: move on, there are better jobs out there. If you don't know *how* to find them, the magic word is that people-skill 'Networking'. No, cisco expertise isn't what I'm talkin' about. Start hanging with a 'leet crowd any way you can, callin' businesses and geeks directly. The magic question isn't 'do you have a job', it's 'Do you know anyone else that could help me out?' Take notes, call back regularly, and try to grow that network to 50 contacts. It isn't rocket science, and the 10% raise I've gotten every time I transitioned jobs has me wondering if I'm not overdue to go jobhunting again.

Then again... I love my job.

top

Sorry I crashed Genesis. I meant well...

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 10 years ago I confess... I did this. Mea Culpa, Mea culpa, my bad.

Some friends and I got the idea a few weeks ago, and over beers and pizza we rigged up some corrugated pipe and wire, made our own half-pipe antenna, hacked the Genesis telemetry, and figured out some of the needed parameters to change. Disabling the chutes was easy enough, but we apparently we screwed up a decimal when we altered the trajectory.

We were aiming for 40.34N, 111.72W(I've rounded the answer to avoid turning Darl's house into a Geocache target again). I figured at $260 Million, it'd be a bargain. What is that, like $3 apiece for every annoyed nerd that'd get back to concentrating on something useful?

top

If goatse.cx disappears, does it remain?

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I made some snide remark about goatse.cx on a recent posting, and someone said it was down.

First reaction was: 'good. Finally.'

Second was 'aside from first-time visits and whatever tiny percentage of the world it is that likes that sort of thing, who would ever go back to notice?!' (or admit it, SGFCA...)

Third was the metaphysics question. Ignoring the above contingents (a big if, considering The September that never ended effects -- 5 billion goatse.cx newbies out there):

Even if goatse.cx remains down... can it ever go down? I mean, it's not like we'll notice, that the joke loses strength, or that most of us would ever revisit *that* link.

It has transcended the internet. We're *stuck* with a fear and loathing of a URL that may not work. Hell, that makes it more offensive than spam, in my hierarchy of loathing. Like r.h.g's green golf ball joke, it'll be with me until I die.

Strange, how the things I dislike teach me more about myself than most things I like.

PS: am not happy with the question or the title, but I'll be damned if I can fix them at this early hour. Oh, and the last 'graf tickles at a famous quote...

top

Slashdotted? hardly

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 11 years ago Well, Aug 12, and Salt Lake's paper (SLTrib?!) has an insider selling article. Linked to slashdot, it's fat with comments. I'm not even going to chime in. These notes aren't in order enough to do more than a rough paraphrase...

As the numbers below show, it's not exactly a pandemic level of selling. And if I had 50k to 200k shares that were up from pennies to ten bucks, I'd be selling incrementally via a scheduled sale like this.

Reminds me of a kid from Canada... I'll have to go find that stuff and tuck it in here, but he rode the dot-com wave to become one of Canada's 10 wealthiest people. His stock then tanked. Imagine being 27, a billionaire, and having listened to family members (mom) about not getting greedy... only to see your net worth fall to $10M. Tragic.

So far, I'm not seeing enough numbers to believe this is a pump-n-dump. Still, I'd still wager there's a lot more room downward than upward for SCOX stock.

top

August 11 SCOX insider notes

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 11 years ago

August 7 and 11:

Robert Bench has dumped 7000 shares at $10.9 ($76k in a day). CFO, leaves him with 221,043 shares.

Reginald Broughton has dumped 4000 shares at 12.57 ($50k in a day). He's the Senior VP of International Sales, and that leaves him 120,000 shares.

On a more pleasant note, SCOX stock took a 13% drop today. This is merely pleasant because I still haven't found a way to leverage a short-sell of SCOX shares to get me to a good profit point. Had I already simply short-sold stock to the level I'd thought of ($10k in shares), today would have been a fun day!

top

SCO shortselling

ediron2 ediron2 writes  |  more than 11 years ago I say we need a Journal Topic of "SCO vs. Everyone Sane", Taco!

By now, everyone is familiar with the umbrella corp that seems to have created shares in SCO, used them to purchase another Web Development (?) firm, then sell them off. Classic pump & dump methodology, eh?

Additionally, July 24 saw a huge number of insider trades. Info from SCO seems freshest (anyone know anything better?)

http://ir.sco.com

Here's what they seem to summarize to:

  • Robert K. Bench, CFO, had 232593 shares on 7/8/03, sold down to 228043.
  • BROUGHTON REGINALD CHARLES, Sr VP Int'l Sales, 7/8/2003 had 151210, sold down to 150000. That's 5000 shares, or $55k at 10.9.
  • Jeff F. Hunsaker, VP Worldwide Marketing, had 30294 shares 7/9, sold down to 25494.
  • Kimberly Steele does the signing.
  • Mike Olson, VP Finance, had 65730 shares 7/11, sold down to 58830 shares.
  • WILSON MICHAEL SEAN, Sr VP Corp Dev, exercised options on 6000 shares (strike of $0.66!), then sold them instantly, earning him the badge for being a VP smart enough to have ZERO risk when this ponzi scheme crashes.
  • Woo-Woo! Wilson again on the 15th, same numbers LITERALLY THE NEXT DAY. 6000 exercised at 66 cents, sold at over $10. Net another 60 grand. Not a bad weekend, Wilson!
  • Hunsaker again, on 7/9, selling 5000 at $11.x Same day, different filing. Turns out I misread the filings so most of those initial share counts are actually lower than I reported. I'll fix 'em tomorrow.
  • Raimondi, Thomas P, a Director, Exercised 10k shares at $6.13. Who wants to bet he sold 'em by month's end!?
  • Cakebread, Stephen, a Director, Exercised 10k at $4.75. Place yer bets!
  • Iaccobucci, Edward E, a Director, on 5/16, exercising 10k at $4.75.
  • Duff Thompson (not sure what order that name goes), exercising 10k shares at $4.75 on 5/16. Kimberly Steele still signatory.
  • Yarro, Ralph, Director, on 5/16, exercising 10k option shares at $4.75.
  • Mott, Darcy G, Director, on 5/16, exercising 10k shares at $4.75... getting bored here...
  • Reggie's back, selling 15000 shares on 7/22, at $13 or so. Leaves him with 130,000 shares that can zero out on him. Let's all join hands and pray, my fellow slashdotters!
  • Hunsaker, 7/23, 5000 shares sold at $13.x, leaves him with 20,494 shares.

... hmm... Kevin Skousen, a SCO Director, didn't actually strike his options, he just got granted 45000 shares at 10 bucks, exercisable immediately. Man, if that isn't a submarine option price just begging to happen. In my last /. comment, I said he'd exercised 'em. My bad.

Hell, that's just the headlines on page 1. We'll have to go back to the beginning of this timeline and do some cruel/ugly number crunching, find indications of inter-corporate shell gaming, etc. For now, I'm off to read financial pages and find me a comfortable way to short (or Put-Option) these guys. Unlike the time I bought 5 microsoft shares just so I could enjoy their fate either way, win or lose, I'll only be happy when SCOX returns to the penny-stock pages it so recently occupied.

If anyone wants to help, feel free to continue reading backwards thru SCO's SEC Filings page and append details. Commentary is ok, but we'll quickly want to put this into spreadsheets and start drawing pretty pictures (like time-vs-profit, buying/selling plans-vs-lawsuit (an insider act, hopefully), and anything else that makes a nice case to investors that these guys really know which way the legal course will flow and the market's gonna run. The greatest enemy of evil is always the widespread dissemination of information.

--advaitavedanta

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?