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Comments

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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

frank_adrian314159 Re:Gotta pay the government bills somehow (630 comments)

This is why I've voted Libertarian (where available) for the past decade now.

You act as if that's a good thing. Well, I guess consistency counts for something even if brains aren't a strong suit.

about a week ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

frank_adrian314159 Re:And they've already stopped (630 comments)

Commercial debt dies with the probate process. It's not passed on.

Don't give Congress any more ideas.

about a week ago
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Climate Scientist: Climate Engineering Might Be the Answer To Warming

frank_adrian314159 Too bad... (341 comments)

Sadly almost all of us live in the lower atmosphere, you insensitive clod.

about a week ago
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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

frank_adrian314159 Re:They've got a lot of catching up to do... (431 comments)

Did you ever meet a black person with a college degree?

Here you go off the rails with respect to your argument. When you are talking about subcultures, you're not talking individuals, you're talking statistics. And the statistics here are pretty awful - 8% enrollment gap for black males, 18% for Hispanic males. Female gaps are worse, as are those for college graduation. But appealing to anecdotal evidence (i.e., "Did you ever meet a black person with a college degree?") is not a valid argument when talking about an entire subculture, just as assuming that an entire subculture is deficient based on one metric (in this case, academic achievement) is pretty specious. In fact, did either of you know that, after compensating for socioeconomic status, the racial gap disappears?

Of course, neither of you know this and God knows it doesn't fit in with either of your world views, so it doesn't register in either of your discourses, both of which are based on emotion and specious arguments. If you want to really acknowledge the issue, it's socioeconomic status - class, in short. Liberals (even when they pay lip service to this notion) are too chickenshit to actually do anything about it; Conservatives won't even acknowledge it. Both are useless. Just like arguments on Slashdot.

about two weeks ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

frank_adrian314159 Re:Retraining miners (580 comments)

This doesn't end well.

"Oh, come, come, my good sir! Surely you jest. Of course it ends well! Just think logically... Since we in the upper class hold all means of governance, manufacturing, communications, energy and food production, provisioning of service - in short, all meaningful economic activity - the basic necessities of life, only a fool, no matter how mistreated, would ever rise up against us. And, if he did, he and whoever he might conspire with would be tracked, caught, convicted, and confined, his friends and family persecuted and ruined. And now, for the sake of jest, let us propose that somehow, by some fortuitous fluke, enough of these malcontents band together to become even a minor annoyance to us. Our mercenaries will track, find, infiltrate, and neutralize them. If necessary, our superior technology shall target and kill them. Because that's the final trump, my good fellow - our superiority in bringing death to those who oppose us.

"It is the way of evolution, my dear man. And it will not be stopped. And atop this shining edifice? Striding across the globe, confidently able to command and reap the benefits of our leadership? Why us, my boy! Us! That is, if we don't falter. If we don't lose our nerve...

"And, well...

"Yes?"

"Well, there's always a chance the bloody wogs might find some way of rising up before we're ready. Hire some more mercenaries, up the amount of infiltration, and get started on that wholesale bringing death thing, will you? Economic ruin, leading to deprivation, starvation, and illness should get most of them, while our prisons, bombs, and bullets will get the rest. Cary on, Maxwell... Oh, and send in Hansen..."

"Yes, sir!"

about two weeks ago
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MA Gov. Wants To Ban Non-Competes; Will It Matter?

frank_adrian314159 Oh wow! Now I HAVE to type my own comment header r (97 comments)

And you've taken away the I-tag again! I don't know why I'm still coming back here...

Apple, of course, invented their UI all by themselves, right? Never took any ideas from Xerox. Nope.

Nope. They bought the rights from Xerox. Different thing entirely. Micorsoft and the movie industry, though - they wer another matter and have the lawsuits (and subsequent settlement in the case of Microsoft) to prove it.

I wish the Apple-haters around here would at least get their history straight. I'm not an Apple fanboy. However, I am a computer history fanboy and I wish the amateurs would at least not keep spreading misinformation.

about two weeks ago
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Double Take: Condoleezza Rice As Dropbox's Newest Board Member

frank_adrian314159 Re:Wiretapping? (313 comments)

I'd have an easier time believing in "equality of opportunity" again if economic power were more evenly distributed. Unless you're telling me a lower-class kid from the ghetto, a middle-class kid from the 'burbs, and an upper-class kid from whatever upper-class enclave you wish to name all have the same "equality of opportunity". From my vantage point, the first has opportunity of jail or long-term unemployment and welfare, the second lifelong debt and wage slavery (until about age 50, where they slide down into the lower-class), and the third gets the opportunity to have just about anything he or she wants. And the statistics about outcomes and class mobility seem to bear this out. The only way to win a rigged game is to change the game.

about two weeks ago
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Theo De Raadt's Small Rant On OpenSSL

frank_adrian314159 Re:Why OpenSSL is so popular? (301 comments)

First, make sure that code that must be secure is transparent. That means little (or no) optimizations, standard calls to OS functions, and clearly structured. It's clear that the OpenSSL developers made their code more opaque than was prudent and the many eyes of open source land could not see through the murk. Yes, clearer code would mean that it ran more slowly and some folks would need to run a few more servers, but the security problem might have been uncovered sooner (or not have happened) if someone hadn't thought that performance was a reason to make the code more complex.

Second, formal independent review would have helped. Most code (especially in volunteer-based open source projects) is only vetted by people directly on the development team. Any piece of software as ubiquitous and critical to the operation of today's internet as OpenSSL cannot have verification and validation mainly by its own developers. For software like this, where security is critical, you should have external review. Start an independent project that vets these things, folks.

Third, understand the limits of testing vs. design. More unit tests would not have caught this. Simple designs lead to simple and correct implementations. Complex designs (or no designs) lead to seas of unit tests that simply tells you the ways that the code happens not to be broken at the moment. Code like that in OpenSSL ideally should be simple enough to be formally proved correct.

I think we've known about why these sorts of things happen ever since I entered he field thirty years ago. We have ways to prevent them, but they usually take time, money, or lowered performance. That they are still happening because of performance zealotry, bad process, and "teh web-speed is everything" mentality is a black mark on our profession.

about two weeks ago
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Big Pharma Presses US To Quash Cheap Drug Production In India

frank_adrian314159 Bad either way... (255 comments)

I am not a shill for the drug companies by any means. That being said, I think the third world's energies would be better spent dealing with their quality issues before they got butt hurt over this move by big pharma's lobby. In reality, drugs sourced from India and/or China are a crap shoot. Read Derek Lowe's blog "In the Pipeline" for information on this industry and pharmacological chemistry.

Yes, India may be getting unfairly punished for it's ability to manufacture drugs inexpensively, but unfair things go on all the time - just look at Slashdot beta!

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Are We Still Writing Text-Based Code?

frank_adrian314159 Known issue... (876 comments)

Text is more dense than graphics. Graphics, depending on how it's laid out can provide better or worse documentation than the code itself. Debuggers run on text, not pictures. Text can be edited with a variety of tools; any graphical notation will have its own editor, which will probably suck. Big diagrams are too tangled, while small diagrams provide too little context or require enough off-page connectors to make any intent opaque. No good way to connect to globals without use of (again) said off-page connectors. Need I go on?

People have been trying out and discarding graphical programming interfaces since the early 1970's (at least). Nobody keeps using them. Get the clue.

Plus, fuck beta.

about 2 months ago
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California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

frank_adrian314159 Re:Doesn't have to be a kill switch (341 comments)

... a lot of these posts imply that 'a technological solution that can render the essential features of the device inoperable ... must be a kill switch.

Either that or a beta.

Fuck beta!

about 2 months ago
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How Adobe Got Rid of Traditional Stack-Ranking Performance Reviews

frank_adrian314159 My first non-Fuck beta submission! (175 comments)

Any organization that has a "Senior VP of People and Places" needs to rethink what the hell they are doing. Stupid titles are a sign of stupid management. I bet Slashdot has a "Senior VP of Beta:".

Damn it! I did it again. Sorry...

Oh well... Fuck beta!

about 2 months ago
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Not Just Healthcare.gov: NASA Has 'Significant Problems' With $2.5B IT Contract

frank_adrian314159 Re:We are not an audience (176 comments)

You can see Detroit as another example. Slashdot beta - the Detroit of web sites.

Fuck beta!

about 2 months ago
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Not Just Healthcare.gov: NASA Has 'Significant Problems' With $2.5B IT Contract

frank_adrian314159 I wonder how much this beta cost... (176 comments)

But I see Dice is convinced that piling on to sunk costs for a broken project is a great strategy for success. Tells you all you need to know about the company. Web gazillion.0 idiots at their best! Arrogance and idiocy all rolled into a big steamer delivered fresh to your browser every day!

Fuck beta!

about 2 months ago
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Quarks Know Their Left From Their Right

frank_adrian314159 Re:The Baby and the Bathwater (150 comments)

Given that and web design that sacrifices half the screen real estate for a sea of white is seriously broken, together with the fact that it's been that way since beta first came out in October, been complained about, and not fixed tells most people all they need to know about how much Slashdot cares about "user experience" and the feedback of the community.

I think that what Slashdot needs to do is simple: First, stop the beta NOW. It's sunk cost with a VERY bad outcome. Stop throwing good money after bad. Next, set up a discussion forum where users can give feedback on what they think is necessary - not on what you think is necessary. Focus the beta on that. Note that this is not to say that the designers at Dice should have no say - they should put forth their arguments as to how they think the site should change to attract new users (which is supposedly what they want and ALSO what we want, given that the community also wants a vibrant user base to interact with). After that, start making an updated site that is optional for users to use and, then, only after the initial usability gotchas are taken care of, start transferring folks over. Finally, always leave the old way for a backup for at least two major upgrades - I know that's old school and very non-Web gazillion.0, but it does help laggards transition.

If Slashdot had done this, I doubt there would have been this kerfuffle. And I know it would take longer and cost a bit more. However, if you actually believe in using feedback from your users when designing "user" experience (something that a lot of "user" experience designers don't seem to get), that's what you'll do. In any case, when what you're doing isn't working, you have to be an idiot to keep doing it. Alienating your current customer base is not a way to build an improved, vibrant site - Slashdot, you've had your Target moment. Right now you suck and we're going to boycott you next week to make sure you don't forget this. Show us how you're not going to suck in the future. That's really all you'e got left, unless you're going to start deleting accounts.

Fuck Beta.

about 2 months ago
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How Edward Snowden's Actions Have Impacted Defense Contractors

frank_adrian314159 Re:Slashdot Beta: Day Two (180 comments)

You open the mailbox. Peering inside you see a Post-It (TM) note stuck to the back of the mailbox, which you must reach in to remove. Scrawled in blood on the Post-It (TM) note are the words "Welcome to Slashdot Beta! Love, Dice Holdings, Inc. P.S. Enjoy your stay."

You close the mailbox and stagger off. You are eaten by a grue.

about 3 months ago
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New Zealand Spy Agency Deleted Evidence About Its Illegal Spying On Kim Dotcom

frank_adrian314159 Re:FUCK BETA (222 comments)

Well, you know why it's skinny, don't you? Because everyone reads Slashdot on their phone and phones are skinny! Unless you turn them sideways, but no one does that! I hope they cut the comment width to about one inch. That way we can all see the quality ads that Dice wants us to see. Maybe they can make their ads blink, too, so that we have the full FUCK SLASHDOT BETA experience!

about 3 months ago
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Dried Meat "Resurrects" Lost Species of Whale

frank_adrian314159 Re:can it resurrect /. classic? (87 comments)

OK. You idiots at Dice want to "fix" the beta? My number one complaint - you post about 12 inches of crap in the right hand column that (because of your layout) removes about 50% of the screen for use by the comments. Not only does that destroy screen space that could be used by content users actually want to read, but that content that you've wasted this space for also scrolls off the screen for people who might (for some unknown reason) want to see the wonders of Dice's lovely sub-companies. Here's a clue for your idiot designers - either find some way to use CSS regions (and, yes, I know that Google has made an issue of this) so you can wrap around that crap after you've put up your stupid Dice job postings, etc., or embed the Dice ads inline - i's less annoying to scroll past wide and short pieces of crap, rather than long, narrow pieces of crap (which is what you're turning comments into).

Fuck Slashdot Beta!

P.S. I think you should fire your idiot web designers.

about 3 months ago
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Getting Young Women Interested In Open Source

frank_adrian314159 Re:Or... (545 comments)

We could, if we were also not embedded in an economic system that also puts a value on what is done together with a political system that preaches both freedom and equality. The problem seems to be that somehow, when we take advantage of our freedom to "do whatever the fuck [we] want to do", there is still a persistent gap in wages between one half+ of the population and the other half. So you have to explain to me how otherwise reasonable people who make rational choices about what they want to do somehow always end up statistically down. I'm thinking it has more to do with the economic system that systematically undervalues work that is typically done by one of those halves, together with a lack of political will to provide adequate support for particular issues that lead to income inequality (support for childcare, paid maternity leave, etc.) for that half.

Of course, you can do your Libertarian whining all you want, but it's this toxic combination of economic and conflicting political goals that brings about this result. And, of course, any of these could be changed to fix this issue, if anyone (especially those economically on top) wanted to change it. But they don't, so we can't, other than in local, systemically ineffective ways. So, sorry ladies, life as a worker is likely to suck for you for the foreseeable future - not that it's much better for us guys (which is one of the issues against it getting better), but you get all of that and get paid less with little support for making it better.

Our apologies for the inconvenience.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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New CFAA "Reform" Draft Makes Law Even Worse

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  1 year,28 days

frank_adrian314159 writes "After the Aaron Swartz suicide, people had hoped that CFAA would be modified to be less draconian. Our naivete knows no bounds. Salon reports that the new draft of the modified CFAA makes the law even worse by expanding it (and its penalties) rather than by reining it in. One provision states that anyone conspiring to break this new law will be subject to the same penalty as if they had committed the crime in question. And even though the bill's language on "exceeding authorized access" has been trimmed a bit, the same language in the section about "unauthorized access" makes the point moot and is still broad enough to be troubling, especially given the law's penalties."
Link to Original Source
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Is the concept of "Cyberspace" stupid?

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  about a year ago

frank_adrian314159 writes "In an article titled "Stop Pretending Cyberspace Exists", Salon writer Michael Lind notes that "Some ideas make you dumber the moment you learn of them. One of those ideas is the concept of 'cyberspace.'” He says that analogizing cyberspace as a real place leads to an inability to think logically about laws, rules, and how and when the governments could or should intervene to regulate the Internet. He states that such a debate is essential, but that that an "[invasion of] a mythical Oz-like kingdom called cyberspace is just as dopey" when talking about governments and corporations taking a larger role in online communications. Is Lind right? Does the notion of cyberspace make the debate over its governance less fruitful?"
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New Music Boss Worse Than Old Music Boss

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  about 2 years ago

frank_adrian314159 writes "David Lowery, musician (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), producer (Sparklehorse, Counting Crows), recording engineer (Archers of Loaf, Lamb of God), and geek (programmer, packet radio operator, ex-CBOT quant) talks about the economics of the music business and how the "old boss" — the record labels — have been replaced by the new boss — file downloading services, song streaming, and commercial online music stores. His take? Although the old boss was often unfair to artists, artists are making even less money under the new boss. Backed with fairly persuasive data, he shows that, under the new distribution model, artists — even small independent ones — are exposed to more risk while making less money. In addition, the old boss was investing in the creation of new music, while the new boss doesn't. This article is lengthy, but worth the attention of anyone interested in the future of music or music distribution."
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Should Reporters be "Truth Vigilantes"

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

frank_adrian314159 writes "Arthur S. Brisbane, public editor of the New York Times asks if reporters in this world of balance should become "truth vigilantes"? So rather than reporting facts — i.e., politician said X about Y, even if X is false — should the media become "truth vigilantes" by pointing out that X is indeed false? That the public editor of the New York Times has to ask this is probably an indication that the media has strayed too far towards balance rather than truth. Should the media be worried about truth anymore?"
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Boeing CEO Says Outsourcing Didn't Pay

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

frank_adrian314159 (469671) writes "The Seattle Times reports that Boeing's CEO is saying that the cost overruns on the 787 "Dreamliner" were greatly exacerbated by the company's heavy use of outsourcing. Although it is now fairly well accepted that outsourcing provides little cost savings and what cost savings there are often get spent in increased management costs and rework, the outsourcing drive goes on. It's nice to see a major industry figure saying that all is not so rosy as the MBAs would have us think."
Link to Original Source
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US Gov Pressuring Manning to Implicate Assange

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

frank_adrian314159 (469671) writes "In his Salon article today, Glenn Greenwald tells of the government's plan to prosecute Julian Assange. In short, the government believes that, if they can get Bradley Manning (the source of the leaked information) to testify that Assange convinced him to leak, they can prosecute Assange under the Espionage Act. As a means to this end, they have been holding Manning in isolation and subjecting him to other inhumane treatment, offering him better treatment should he would be willing to testify. That this would endanger with prosecution any investigative journalist who got information from a military informant has not passed unnoticed."
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RIAA to Appeal Thomas-Rasset Ruling

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

frank_adrian314159 (469671) writes "The RIAA will appeal the ruling that reduced Jammie Thomas-Rasset's $1.92 fine for file sharing to $54,000.

"It is a shame that Ms. Thomas-Rasset continues to deny any responsibility for her actions rather than accept a reasonable settlement offer and put this case behind her," said RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth.

Joe Sibley, an attorney for Thomas-Rasset, said his client would not settle for the $25,000 that the RIAA has asked for.

"Jammie is not going to agree to pay any amount of money to them," Sibley said, adding that it doesn't matter to Thomas-Rasset whether the damages are $25,000 or $1.92 million.

In addition, Thomas-Rasset's attorneys say that, win or lose, they plan to appeal the constitutionality of the fine."
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Video Title Says it All - HP Computers Are Racist

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

frank_adrian314159 (469671) writes "The folks at HP have outdone themselves this time. It turns out that when a white person tries to use the tracking software on their laptops, it works fine. When a black person tries? It doesn't work as well (or at all). It could be any number of causes to this fault, but one thing is clear — the more complicated you make something, the greater the chance of unintended consequences."
Link to Original Source
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Pope Comes Out Against Over-Zealous IP Restriction

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

frank_adrian314159 (469671) writes "In his latest encyclical, Benedictine XVI comes out against overly aggressive IP restrictions. In it, he attacks "excessive zeal for protecting knowledge through an unduly rigid assertion of the right to intellectual property, especially in the field of health care." He doesn't seem to be that into a lot of today's capitalism, either — must be that whole uphold-the-downtrodden thing."
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Music From Stock Charts?

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

frank_adrian314159 writes "German composer/artist Johannes Kreidler has digitized various stock charts and other graphs, using Microsoft's SongSmith to generate the backing music. The video produced from the animation of the charts using the music as background is interesting. From his web page (my translation):

The prettiest melodies come from life itself! Every man is an artist — so too, every politician and banker: Songs for millions! Times of crisis are always good for art. Thanks for the music!

"

Link to Original Source
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Texas BoE Wants Decade of Hol(e)y Evolution

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

frank_adrian314159 writes "Clay Burell, 40-year veteran teacher and Apple Distinguished Educator, blogs about a majority in the Texas Board of Education which is likely to vote for state science standards requiring science teachers to teach the (non-existent) "weaknesses or limitations of evolution." The problem? Textbooks used in Texas must align with these standards and as goes Texas (the second largest textbook market in the US, following California), so goes your kids' textbooks, wherever you are in the US. Even worse? These guidelines will be in place for a decade, warping Biology content for that period of time."
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The seven habits of highly subversive people

frank_adrian314159 frank_adrian314159 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

frank_adrian314159 writes "Tired of the repression in the US? Want to fight "da man"? Want to be a subversive? A person who grew up in an authoritarian regime tells you how to do it in seven simple habits. Although couched in language of ecological concern Amanda Kovattana gives everyone who wants to get off their butts and make a difference a good set of guidelines."
Link to Original Source

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