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Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

frankie Re:Succession plan? (1521 comments)

Been a while since I posted on /.

I can understand Lord Steve's retirement, considering he's been running on secondhand parts for a while, but Taco?

No one else has abused this meme yet, so I may as well: not letting Taco keep his posting privileges is something that Hitler would do.


more than 3 years ago

Lori Drew, The SCO Group, and the GPL

frankie As always, the difference of the GPL... (4 comments)

To hold the GPL to a different standard than MySpace's terms of service just because we like the license is hypocritical

The difference between the GPL and pretty much all EULAs and ToSes is: the former grants extra rights while the latter takes away rights. If everything else were exactly the same, except the license did not exist, your use of MySpace would be freer, but your use of GPL code would be... nonexistent. It's someone else's copyrighted material, which is simply illegal to insert into your own work without permission. The only reason that people may redistribute GPL code is the GPL itself.

I fully support anyone's right to ignore stupid EULAs and ToSes. I also support their right to ignore the GPL, and not use the code. The hypocrisy is from anyone who thinks they should be allowed the freedoms given to them by one part of the GPL without the requirements laid down by the other part.

more than 5 years ago

Wikipedia Bans Church of Scientology

frankie Re:freedom of expression (665 comments)

Bad analogy. ISPs are in a position of power over its users. Generally there are only a handful of plausible choices for broadband internet in a given location. Wikipedia is just one information-gathering web site out of thousands. If you don't like Wikipedia's conditions, you can put your stuff somewhere else, including many completely free wiki sites. Whereas you can't set up your own independent broadband connection without a huge investment of money and effort.

more than 5 years ago

US Federal Government Launches Data.gov

frankie Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (109 comments)

p.s. Even worse, he's doing it ON THE INTERNET! Just like a CRAIGSLIST call girl!

more than 5 years ago

US Federal Government Launches Data.gov

frankie Re:Unbiased opinion? BLAME CANADA (109 comments)

Hmm... that Elastic Vapor guy is from Toronto, Canada. It seems FOREIGNERS are very happy indeed about this new database.

So, how many days until the 10:00 news is crowing that Obama is spending our tax dollars to give American secrets to other countries?

more than 5 years ago

Gene Transfer Immunizes Against Monkey HIV Analog

frankie Monkeys are safe again... but for how long? (104 comments)

Antibodies against HIV are extremely hard to get right. For example, Dan Barouch has kept a group of vaccinated monkeys with an SIV/HIV hybrid alive for years... except for one whose virus mutated in just the wrong way. Based on the limited information in the article, it seems like the U Penn study works similarly.

more than 5 years ago

Baby Monitors Killing Urban Wi-Fi

frankie Re:More PERTINENT Post... (348 comments)

if a baby monitor is interfering with your cordless phone or WiFi, that is probably the least of your problems!

Umm... so what is the bigger problem you are implying? And what exactly can't you agree with? When a lot of 2.4GHz devices are all operating in close proximity (such as apartments in a city) there will be more interference than if those devices are farther apart. It's simple physics.

I know from direct experience that a single 2.4GHz consumer product (such as this one, which BTW does not tell you it uses 2.4GHz video anywhere on or in the box, and only states the much lower frequency of its control channel) can completely swamp WiFi across the width of a suburban house. If there weren't a big yard between us, it would probably knock out my neighbor's WiFi too.

more than 5 years ago

Strings Link the Ultra-Cold With the Super-Hot

frankie Re:Of course (236 comments)

Doofus. Firehed didn't say that you were "making shit up". He said that the human authors of the Bible made that bit about God cutting people's lifespans so that their earlier fictions about Methuselah and friends would make more sense.

more than 5 years ago

Jupiter's Great Red Spot Is Shrinking

frankie Re:Let's celebrate! (270 comments)

Back to partisan sniping — has not Barack Obama already fixed the global warming problem some time last year (before even taking office)? The 2008 was, like, the coldest in decades and 2009 is not particularly warm either...

1: No matter how much people on ALL sides of the debate like to scream about the latest short-term variation, one or two years of air temperature data do not constitute a trend. Decades are probably the smallest useful increment for considering climate change.

2: Everyone knows global temperature has fallen recently because of the valiant efforts of Somali environmentalists. Ramen!

more than 5 years ago

Slashdot Launches User Achievements

frankie Re:Slashdot achievements (1582 comments)

If Taco wanted to implement semantics-aware achievements, he'd need to hire a few thousand well-trained page readers. Or clone an army of three-assed Tim Berners Lees.

However, several of the ones in the later half of your list could be handled by a tiny Perl script, and therefore are great ideas.

more than 5 years ago

Motor Made From Liquid Film

frankie Two perpendicular electric fields? (241 comments)

It's been about 20 years since I took E&M Physics, but... How exactly would "two perpendicular electric fields" be different from one diagonal electric field equal to the vector sum? Mathematically, you can only describe two things as "perpendicular" if they are reasonably linear and uniform.

more than 5 years ago

Safari 4 Released, Claimed "30 Times Faster Than IE7"

frankie Re:Notes on New Features (465 comments)

The web is hard enough to read already with these 10px hard-coded fonts everywhere. For every site I need a different combination of zoom and text embiggenment

It's called "Minimum font size". Both Firefox and Safari have easily accessible preference settings for this. Sometimes a minimum size will break menu bars with hardcoded widths, but overall it's a big net plus.

more than 5 years ago

Intel To Design PlayStation 4 GPU

frankie Re:Xbox3 and Wii2? (288 comments)

No. The official release names are:

  • Wiiii (although Wiiii is still in the running)
  • Microsoft Xbox Xtreme (also available in Media Center edition)

more than 5 years ago

Storm Worm Botnet "Cracked Wide Open"

frankie Re:WWBD? (301 comments)

He'd use his detective skills to learn the identities of the cyrillic mobsters who own the botnet. The next night he'd incapacitate a number of guards, then dangle the bosses headfirst off of an onion-domed cathedral until they give him all their passwords. And lastly fight a corrupt former-KGB super-enforcer.

So your philosophy may not be very applicable here.

more than 5 years ago

Spiraling Magnetic Signal Shows Up In the Cosmic Background

frankie ELECTRIC UNIVERSE!!! (168 comments)

Please recall that Mr pln2bz is an Electric Universe fanatic, pretending to be an objective outsider who was swayed by the Thunderbolts' persuasive arguments.

more than 5 years ago

An open letter to Taco on Pudge's abuse of power.

frankie starting to agree with Squiggy (6 comments)

Slashdot is becoming less and less useful to me as it grows wider. I think I might switch to Ars as my primary tech source.

But in any case, I also agree with you that the Admins (including Taco) should also abide by the speed limit and most other rules they set for users.

about 6 years ago

HDMI to DVI on my monitor?

frankie The Magic 8 ball says... (6 comments)


The DVI signal is electrically compatible with HDMI video signal; no signal conversion needs to take place when an adapter is used and consequently no loss in video quality occurs.[70] As such HDMI is backward compatible with Digital Visual Interface carrying digital video (DVI-D or DVI-I, but not DVI-A) used on modern computer monitors and graphics cards. This means that a DVI-D source can drive an HDMI monitor, or vice versa, by means of a suitable adapter or cable

about 6 years ago

Cheaper ways to play GameCube game on Wii?

frankie Figured out the price differential (3 comments)

Google Shopping displays the full price + shipping; Amazon doesn't. This leads Amazon's sub-merchants to post their items with a skewed cost structure, such as $2.99 for a GC controller, plus $8.97 shipping. :(

about 6 years ago



frankie frankie writes  |  more than 7 years ago

frankie writes "The usual suspects are reporting on Intel's latest Centrino chipset launch. Santa Rosa offers a faster system bus, 802.11n, flash-memory disk caching, X3100 integrated graphics, and a purported 15% longer battery life. The Centrino Pro brand also adds remote administration and virtualization improvements. Dell, HP, Lenovo, and other OEMs (but not Apple) announced Santa Rosa models at the same time."



Where have all the flowers gone

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

In the unlikely event that anyone cares, I'm over at Ars instead of /.


Two short stories about a stinkin Mac user

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

1: Due to a combination of illnesses and cutbacks, I'm doing some desktop support this week. After fixing the issues on a user's PC (network shares got lost, sound cable got yanked) I noticed that the font in her email client was many points larger than her desktop font. I asked her about it to verify that my guess was correct, then quickly clicked Display -> Settings -> Advanced -> Large Fonts. She was astonished, then effusively thankful.

No one else here would have given that a second glance (or even a first). Also, about half our LCDs (that I haven't adjusted) are set to some non-native default resolution. Oh well, at least fuzzy edges aren't as bad as the 60Hz headaches I used to get.

2: My officemate and I moved an old printer in between our desks. It doesn't happen to play nice with our departmental print manager, so I decided to add it directly by address. OS X was straightforward (Print & Fax -> Add button -> IP tab), but XP (virtual) was giving me grief. Finally I google the answer and burst out laughing. In order to connect to a network printer by IP, you go into the Add Printer Wizard, select "Local Printer" (instead of "Network Printer"), then go into the Printer Port Wizard and tell it that the printer's IP address is a local port. Well gee, that's obvious, isn't it? I explained this to my officemate, and he thought it was an interesting trick, but still didn't get why I was laughing.


every Flash site you ever visited...

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 5 years ago

...may be recorded quietly on your hard drive, even if you had Flash erase all stored data. Everyone knows about Flash cookies and their largish abuse potential. But none of the sites I saw mentioned one little detail that's left behind, with no incriminating data signature to be detected in a file search.

When Flash removes its temp files and cookies for a site, it fails to remove the surrounding folder. And of course the folder's name is the site domain.

Look in your preferences directory for Macromedia/Flash Player/#SharedObjects and you will probably find a lot of unwanted history. You can safely delete the whole folder, but it's somewhat painful if there are one or two Flash-based sites whose persistence data you do want to retain.


OpenOffice.org Impress...

frankie frankie writes  |  about 6 years ago


sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks

Calc and Writer are usable MSO replacements. Impress is not. I am reinstalling PowerPoint tomorrow (unless I can find a recent version of Keynote somewhere in the office).


/. Moderation Options v2.1

frankie frankie writes  |  about 6 years ago Pursuant to this comment, here is the complete list of mod options I wish we had:

  • +2, Informative And Has Links To Show It
  • +1, Interesting
  • +0, Funny
  • -0, YMBNH
  • -1, Offtopic/Troll
  • -1, False, And Followup Has Links To Show It

Remember that in Slashcode 2.0, users have the option to assign personal value modifiers to each moderation type.

Lastly, if you give a Mis/Informative mod which is voted down in Metamod, you lose 10x karma.


Cheaper ways to play GameCube game on Wii?

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I managed to score a Wii this fall, much to the delight of the little folk in my house. The boy is a Pokemon fan, so he got Battle Revolution for his birthday, but we soon discovered it's only arena fighting with no story.

I've learned that there are Pokemon CRPGs for GameCube. However, this Wii is our first and only electronic device from Nintendo. In order to play GC discs on Wii, we'd need native memory card and controllers, which are in the vicinity of $20 each according to Froogle. In other words, it would cost ~$90 total for a $30 game.

Are there reliable ways to play GC on Wii less expensive than what Google found? Swap meets? Third party brands? Secret landfill in Utah?


Cabinet Casting Call

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

My starting point for an Obama Administration Dream Team would be:

  1. early Bush appointees who resigned in protest over policy disagreements:
    • Colin Powell: State? Defense? Education? wherever he prefers
    • Christine Whitman: EPA, doing everything she announced in 2001 but was countermanded
    • Paul O'Neill: Treasury? Commerce? Interior?
    • who else did I miss?
  2. late Bush appointees who have widespread support:
    • Robert Gates: Defense
    • I'm sure there are others
  3. interesting outsiders of all stripes:
    • hmm... ran out of steam to finish this journal entry, help me out here


Republicans, Mini DisplayPort, and Blu/DVD...

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

...have very little to do with each other, except that I'm thinking about all 3.

1: I sincerely hope that the Grand Ole Party will have a revolutionary war in 2009, such that either the social conservatives decisively push the fiscal conservatives out of leadership, or vice versa. Please end the unholy alliance, and realign the political landscape from left-right to big-small. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

2: Now that I've had time to think about it, Apple's Mini DisplayPort(tm) is proprietary evil, and another sign that Macs are at risk of return to beleaguered-ness by Lord Steve's growing arrogance. It's a foolish, petty decision that limits interoperability and makes Macs (with add-on adapters) Cost More(tm).

Hmm... no, that's stating it much too mildly. Damn you Steve, *MINI* DisplayPort is f&(#ing STUPID when *ORDINARY* DisplayPort is only a hair wider than USB!!! Shaving a few square millimeters of circuit board cannot justify the drawback of a port that DOES NOT CONNECT TO ANY CURRENTLY EXISTING (non-Apple) PRODUCTS.

3: Pursuant to my upcoming HDTV purchase, any recommendations for a good disc player around $200? Must play progressive DVD (including +/- R/W) and BluRay, optionally other formats like CD, VCD, MP*, etc.


WTF? Big Brother is advertising on Google?

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago While reading a membership reminder email from EFF, which included a paragraph about their fight against warrantless wiretaps, I glanced up and noticed a truly bizarre advert:

Internet Wiretap - www.ipfabrics.com - Internet and VoIP intercept with IP Fabrics DeepSweep.

Why in the world does this company think that a general audience web advert is be a good way to reach their target market? Should I laugh, or shudder?


How to buy an HDTV?

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

With the scary switchover fast approaching, L has expressed interest in replacing our 15yo tube. We are not big TV watchers, somewhere about halfway between typical well-educated suburbanites and annoying no-TV guy. We only buy limited basic cable, and mainly use the TV for DVDs and Wii (which I luckily scored on eBay).

My requirements:

  • 1080p - we plan to keep this set a long while, eventually need the rez
  • 40+" - so it provides as much SD visual area as our old 32"
  • decent contrast & speed - for DVDs & Wii respectively
  • well under $1k - we're not trying to build a stadium theater with popcorn holders

This one looks promising, but I wonder if I should just ignore it and wait for big sales later in the year. Perhaps Black Friday? Suggestions would be appreciated.

p.s. Just a funny thing I ran across while researching HDTV.


Historical Guide to the Baroque Cycle?

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

After a few years of halted attempts, I am finally at the halfway point of Stephenson's trilogy and progressing steadily. I hope more will be revealed about the nature and plans of Enoch Root, but currently I'm more interested in the side characters and their real-world timelines. For example, Duc d'Arcachon. Did he really exist? When and how did he die? etc? So far both Google and Wikipedia have only pointed me to Stephenson-related pages.


OK. Where do I get a Wii?

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

This is just silly. The system has been out for nearly TWO years and it's still out of stock everywhere. WTF?

Where can one buy (and actually receive within 2 weeks) a vanilla Wii, with no bundle (except possibly DDR & pads), for approximately MSRP?

Update: I scored one on Ebay. Bought local so I could pick up in person and inspect. All good.


What Georgia should be saying right now

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Dear Putin,
STFU bitch.

Not that it would matter, but still, it ought to be said, loudly.

Meanwhile, Putin must be thanking God for speaking to Bush 9 years ago. He has had so much freedom to oppress, thanks to the relative moral vacuum generated by us.


Dear Democratic Leader (a slightly different survey)

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Weird, I just received the 2006 Grassroots Survey of Democratic Leaders from Howard Dean, and it's formatted almost identically to the multiple redundant Republican surveys I've received, right down to the same dollar choices in the contribution checkboxes. BTW, I haven't heard from the Repugs in a while; perhaps they finally flagged me in the database. And they still haven't cashed the various $0.02 checks I sent them.

However, there is a HUGE difference in the tone of questions and answers. The Republican surveys generally sounded like this:

Do you support President Bush's plan to protect American freedom with surveillance cameras in your bedroom?
( ) Yes, I love America.
( ) No, I want the terrorists to win.

Whereas the Democratic survey has (gasp!) two or more plausible answers for each question, like this one (verbatim):

When decisions about Social Security's future are being made what do you think is most important?
( ) Keeping Social Security as a program with a guaranteed monthly benefit.
( ) Allowing younger workers to decide for themselves how their Social Security contributions are invested.
( ) Both guaranteed benefits and investments are important.

Of course, the answers are still confined to the single axis defined by the duopoly. My preferred policy (in this example, reduce the COLA and allow Social Security to gradually fade away) doesn't even cross their minds.

Eh. I guess that's why I'm not a real "Democratic Leader" (or a registered Democrat at all, for that matter). Maybe I'll send a $2 check or something; they're probably easier to buy than the GOP is.


Americans say: throw all the OTHER bums out!

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Nearly 2/3rds of all US voters would like to see most members of Congress removed from office and replaced with new blood. Sounds like a strong national mandate for CHANGE , doesn't it?

Well, it might, except for the second question in the survey: Do you think YOUR OWN LOCAL members of Congress should get the axe? As you have already guessed, nearly as large a majority responded no. You see, their guys are the ONLY honest and good politicians in all of Washington.

Once again, the Onion remains a prophetic voice in the wilderness.


Change I less strongly believe in

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Although Squiggy is right that the one is identifiably better than the other, in my opinion he is not ENOUGH better to be worth a large personal effort on my part. So although I continue to stand against some of the obvious smears, I will not be campaigning for him in Virginia. His 180 on FISA indicates that he is a full member of The Invertebracy.

Meanwhile, although McCain has done his best to disguise himself, he is in fact Not Bush. Therefore, the difference between the two does not exceed epsilon for my purposes.


Virginia is the swing state in 2008

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

After playing the electrical college game at 270toWin, I have come to the conclusion that whoever wins Virginia in November will be the next President. Please note that I predicted the same about Ohio in 2004. Suppose I should do some voter registration there this summer. Anybody want to join me?


Ads I've Been Clicking Regularly

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

  1. "FREE" stuff (in exchange for "participating in member offers")
  2. QuizRocket (jumping Jebus on a pogo stick, QuizRocket is evil)
  3. GlobalWarmingHeartland and other "climate facts" sites
  4. Expelled (Ben Stein's pro-creationism movie)
  5. snitch on your company to the BSA

Someone needs to pay the ISP bills for the websites that I like to use. I'm much happier knowing that it's those folks.


Angry and saddened by the state of our civilization

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Today I spent a few minutes in blogsearch about Mike Gravel switching to Libertarian. One of the blogs I pseudo-randomly browsed was "That's Right Nate". His views on Gravel were similar to mine (assuming he was being sarcastic about the New Deal being Libertarian), so I decided to read on. That's when I came to this:

During the 2000 Election there was a great deal of discussion about John McCain's dughter. The story that his campaign told was that he adopted her from Bangladesh. The story that Karl Rove and George Bush told was that she was his daughter from a tryst with a black woman. I thought about and prayed about this question for some time before finally accepting the Bush/Rove story as truth.

Re-read that last sentence a few times. Nate prayed about these two opposing narratives before picking one to believe. He apparently continued to believe Rove's version right up to this week. The notion that one could find objective truth to support one story or the other never even crossed his mind.

I had always assumed this sort of behavior was (other than perhaps GWB himself) just a caricature. To see an ordinary person honestly making political decisions from his gut^H^H^HGod was appalling. It brought my opinion of the average US citizen to a new low.

I definitely need to rent Idiocracy ASAP.


Where to find help with a playlist?

frankie frankie writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I'm drafting the playlist for my neighborhood summer cookout (5th party so far, 4th with music, 3rd with a preplanned playlist). I've laid out a theme but need to about double the duration. So, I have two questions:

  1. Have any song suggestions that fit the music style? (current list follows)
  2. Is there a better site to ask this, like slashdot journal but for music?

2008 Block Party:

  • Jesus Of Suburbia - Green Day
  • Club America - The Cure
  • People Are People - Depeche Mode
  • They - Jem
  • Television, the Drug of the Nation - The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
  • 16 Military Wives - The Decemberists
  • Welcome To The Occupation - R.E.M.
  • I Should Be Allowed To Think - They Might Be Giants
  • The Bottom Line - Big Audio Dynamite
  • Imagine This (Bush) - Wax Audio
  • Better Way (War Mix) - Ben Harper
  • Revolution - The Beatles
  • Talkin' Bout a Revolution - Tracy Chapman
  • Yell Fire - Michael Franti & Spearhead
  • Children Of The Revolution - Baby Ford
  • Freewill - Rush
  • Free - Phish
  • I'm Free - The Soup Dragons
  • The News - Carbon/Silicon

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