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Comments

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Amazon's eBook Math

goose-incarnated Re:Disengenous (282 comments)

The author is NOT the right person to do this. Lawyers have a saying "A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client".

I was told that by a Magistrate when I was representing myself in a violent crime case. I replied (much to the Magistrates enjoyment), "Anyone representing a lawyer has a fool for a client".

yesterday
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UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

goose-incarnated Re:More inconvienient than the average filter. (115 comments)

hipsters

oh for fucks sake I am really getting annoyed with the overuse of that word. It used to refer to a specific group of people - the affluent urban young people who are always up on the latest trends and fashions.

Why bring python programmers into it? :-)

about a week ago
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The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

goose-incarnated Re:This is bullshit (962 comments)

Don't talk to many women do you? Just ask a woman. Ask your mother. I think you will be surprised how common it is.

Ask simple questions like: Have you ever felt unsafe because of the comments men are making about you?

I'm not responsible if you feel uncomfortable around me. Your feeling uncomfortable might be due to me actively working to make you uncomfortable, or it may just be you being paranoid.

How often do you evaluate your personal security around men?

Men evaluate their personal security around other men all the time. It's not sexist in any way if women do the same.

Have you ever been sexually harassed?

In online forums? All the time.

Know a geek girl? Ask her: Have you ever been harassed with a rape threat because of a comment you made on line?

As a man, I face violent threats all the time online. This includes death threats.

Listen to the answers and then start looking at your own behavior. Why are you making it the women's problem rather than looking at your own behavior and beliefs?

Because most people understand that your "feels" may not actually be rooted in anything I did. If my wife "feels" neglected, it's not necessarily a fact that I neglect her. If my wife "feels" unloved, it is not necessarily a fact that I do not love her. If a woman I talk to at work "feels" harassed, it is not necessarily a fact that I harassed her.

The problem is that you are trying to make men responsible for the way women feel, and "feels" are an entirely subjective thing. When you can objectively measure on a proper granular scale how "loved", "creepy", etc a man is being (regardless of how the woman perceives it), then we can talk about whether it's a problem or not - until then it's all subjective and I see no reason for the female point of view into feelings to be more legitimate than the males point of view.

about a week ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

goose-incarnated Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (753 comments)

Yet TradeMe still exists and people use direct bank transfers than any other payment method on the site. If your claim (that business this way is not practical) was true then people would not use direct bank transfers. But they do. Ipso facto your claim can't be true.

My claim was and still is that using cash eliminates many of the scams - your claim was that scamming was too infrequent to matter. I provided evidence that it was frequent enough that the marketplace warned you against handing over money via bank transfers (other than their own special bank transfer that still had no guarantees). Please read those links I posted - they actually specifically warn against bank transfers.

Again, the system is widely used here. So the onus is on you to back up your claim that it can't possibly work with evidence.

I refer you to the trademe trust and safety blog (yes, it really is called that): http://www.trademe.co.nz/trust...

But the system still works. You haven't provided any evidence that it doesn't. You haven't even provided evidence that the incidence of fraud is higher with direct bank transfers.

I don't need to provide evidence that it doesn't work because I never made the claim that it does not work. I claimed that untrusted transactions are best with payment and possession taking place at the same time, hence cash works best for this. The sites you pointed me to warn specifically about doing bank transfers.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

goose-incarnated Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (753 comments)

You're saying "it can't possibly work, because scams". I'm telling you it does actually work here.

You're claiming "It works, because there are no scams", and I'm telling you, right now and right here, there are scams in all the classifieds. You're relying on the fact that people are honest; I'm comfortable being skeptical. You're asking me to trust "because it doesn't happen", and I'm saying that over here it's a daily occurrence. I actually don't know how to make it any clearer - if you're buying something off of craigslist, or whichever classifieds, the damn site itself warns you to be skeptical! Even the marketplace itself is telling you that there are scammers out there!

No, you're misrepresenting my position. I never claimed there were no scams. I said it was not a significant problem in practice. Perhaps that is due to a difference in the cultures of our countries. But the fact remains that the system works here. When you claim that a system that is in widespread use doesn't work, that's not skepticism. It's simply denial.

From the trademe site, they warn about this specifically: http://www.trademe.co.nz/trust... So, they themselves think that if you hand over money you could lose it. Let me emphasise that for you: Trademe themselves think that you should use any protection you can when paying money and you should not rely on trust!

So the trust issue is not an insignificant problem, but it is one that is painlessly solved by using cash.

Again, the system is widely used here. So the onus is on you to back up your claim that it can't possibly work with evidence.

I refer you to the trademe trust and safety blog (yes, it really is called that): http://www.trademe.co.nz/trust...

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

goose-incarnated Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (753 comments)

And then you have scams arising where you pay your money and the "seller" vanishes. The only safe way to deal with a potential scam when trading through the classifieds is to hand over payment and take possession of the item at the same time. Not possible if one party has to wait to verify payment.

You're arguing hypotheticals against reality.

What are you talking about? What's not a reality?

You're saying "it can't possibly work, because scams". I'm telling you it does actually work here.

You're claiming "It works, because there are no scams", and I'm telling you, right now and right here, there are scams in all the classifieds. You're relying on the fact that people are honest; I'm comfortable being skeptical. You're asking me to trust "because it doesn't happen", and I'm saying that over here it's a daily occurrence. I actually don't know how to make it any clearer - if you're buying something off of craigslist, or whichever classifieds, the damn site itself warns you to be skeptical! Even the marketplace itself is telling you that there are scammers out there!

Someone dealing in cash can just as easily be robbed by the seller.

True, but if you're going to mug someone, why post on the classifieds first? You're just as likely to be mugged leaving a bank after all.

about two weeks ago
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Home Depot Begins Retail Store Pilot Program To Sell MakerBot 3-D Printers

goose-incarnated Re:and what would i do with it? (127 comments)

Hmm, My immediate thought actually is that there's a fucking huge overlap. Print your own cornicing for your house

In 30cm pieces? Taking 12 hours for enough to do a single room?

... Print your own bath plugs...

Yes, you can save $0.5 USD just by waiting an hour.

Print your own custom pipes for the awkward places that are unique to your house...

No such thing - a variety of elbows, t-pieces and such are available to fit any sort of plumbing the average house has, which leaves us to the only legitimate use ...

Print your own parts to customise fixtures and fittings.

And this is the option that requires the owner to be proficient enough to design his own stuff in the first place, which may take (from my experience) anything from 2 hours to twenty hours. If he is downloading a design off of the net, then it's not unique, is it?

The list is basically endless in the DIY landscape.

I do lots of DIY. Really lots. I've refloored my house with three different types of flooring (wood, carpets and tiles), rebuilt walls, built a pond, welded up 30m of palisade fencing. I've built tiny once-off tools for specialised purposes (especially when repairing newer models of cars). I've reroofed my garage, installed ceilings, rewired entire buildings. I've done the plumbing and cabling for much of my house. I've built cupboards, and constructed various sheet metal projects. I'm okay with electronics as well, having had a career in the embedded world.

And with all that experience of rolling my own, I can tell you one thing for certain - there is no decent ROI in any of the current consumer 3d printers (I've got unlimited access to one at work). You cannot print anything other than cosmetic items due to the lack of strength or rigidity. The pipes you think you will print? Maybe it will work as a straight length - a single bend is going to cause unpredictable rigidity. It will also still have to be milled/finished to fit into the other fittings. Or perhaps you want to print out enclosures for your rasberry pi/arduino projects? Rather than get an ugly plastic case with lines all over it, you can construct one from aluminium sheets in about ten minutes with a jigsaw and a $20 home-made brake.

The only worry home depot might have is that there might be too much overlap, and their sales of other things might drop!

I doubt it - you can't even print a spanner that will work more than once. Or anything that is supposed to look good.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

goose-incarnated Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (753 comments)

And then you have scams arising where you pay your money and the "seller" vanishes. The only safe way to deal with a potential scam when trading through the classifieds is to hand over payment and take possession of the item at the same time. Not possible if one party has to wait to verify payment.

You're arguing hypotheticals against reality.

What are you talking about? What's not a reality?

It's simply not a problem here. If it were it could be solved simply by requiring sufficient proof of identity to post the classified in the first place. A marketplace which gets a reputation for allowing sellers to get away with fraud is not going to last long.

Once again it comes down to trust - you trust that the marketplace has identified the scammer. What if you're the first person to respond to the ad? Regardless, you're still asking two parties who are unknown to each other to trust each other with no real evidence that the trust is warranted. My point still stands in this reality - transactions need to be completed when there is a lack of trust. Cash works for this. Waiting doesn't (hence the reason bitcoin is still less traded than actual toy money).

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

goose-incarnated Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (753 comments)

No.. We do these transactions with people I don't know all the time. And its fine. Last time i got a cell phone for my daughter, I am in Switzerland she is NZ the seller was some guy in a different city in NZ. We didn't need to see each other and use cash. We had no reason to trust each other.

You realise you're pointing out examples of doing transactions there are all trust based - even if you had no reason to trust that the seller would not disappear with the money, you still trusted that he would send the goods. If you trust that the seller would send the goods or that the payment would clear, then that is outside the scope of this discussion, which is "how to do EFT transactions with people you don't trust". The answer is not "trust them first, then do the transaction".

And if you don't trust someone, meeting them in person makes them no more trustworthy. How many mile on the clock on that car? Was it really looked after etc. Sooner or later you just have to trust. And mostly that works out. Cash does not fix or change that.

I don't trust what the seller says about a car's mileage, I check it out myself (last car I purchased went for and passed a full AA test before I parted with my money). The majority of the worlds population does untrusted transactions in person every day due to the ability of instant payment with cash and instant completion of sale. You're asking all these people that they should just trust other parties more?

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

goose-incarnated Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (753 comments)

Trade me in NZ has been doing with direct transfers since forever. And the only scams i hear about with Ebay are via Paypal.

So? This is a total non sequitor to what I said above: when you need to do a transaction where both parties have no reason to trust each other the only option is payment and possession at time of sale.

about two weeks ago
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Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

goose-incarnated Re:Cashless can't happen, here is why ... (753 comments)

In this country direct bank transactions are used for a lot of this. It's not quite as easy as taking cash when you hand over the item but it's not much harder: give them your bank account number when they agree to the sale and then check that the money is there before handing over the item. If you're going to bank the money anyway it's actually easier. Obviously it's not practical for yard sales but it works pretty well for classifieds and online sales.

And then you have scams arising where you pay your money and the "seller" vanishes. The only safe way to deal with a potential scam when trading through the classifieds is to hand over payment and take possession of the item at the same time. Not possible if one party has to wait to verify payment.

about two weeks ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Not convinced (176 comments)

Put differently - the human assumes that the other human will understand him or ask for clarification. Sometimes they are wrong in this assumption but no harm is done. With a computer: if the human takes the chance that the computer understands him OR will ask for clarification and the computer assumes a different meaning then there will be hell to pay.

Why? Why does the human get to slide but the computer doesn't?

Because the human is nondeterministic and the computer isn't. A computer, given a certain input, will always respond with a certain output. Humans, dogs, cats and most other animals don't do this. I'm finding it hard to understand why you have trouble with determinism vs non-determinism.

For the input "fruit flies like a banana", the computer must always EITHER ask for clarification OR assume what the sentence means. It cannot do ask for clarification some of the time and not others as a human will do.

about 1 month ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Not convinced (176 comments)

The human would ask for clarity.

The computer can be built to do the same as the human in any of these cases.

No, it can't. In order to ask for clarity it first has to recognise that there is a 0.00000000000000000000000000000000001% chance of ambiguity. This would result in it always asking for clarity. A human is allowed to make mistakes in comprehension because the producer of the sentence might recognise that there was incorrect understanding. Then again, they might not. The computer doesn't have the luxury of taking the chance that there is no ambiguity.

Put differently - the human assumes that the other human will understand him or ask for clarification. Sometimes they are wrong in this assumption but no harm is done. With a computer: if the human takes the chance that the computer understands him OR will ask for clarification and the computer assumes a different meaning then there will be hell to pay. In essence, what you are saying is "given the sentence 'I once saw a deer riding my bicycle' I want the machine to sometimes ask for clarification and sometimes not, but the machine won't be told in advance which time to ask for clarification and which time to assume non-ambiguity." This is clearly impossible.

TLDR: You're asking a deterministic machine to perform non-deterministic actions; mathematically this is impossible, hence it will never be a reality.

about a month ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Not convinced (176 comments)

I'll repeat myself: Since I am able to figure it out, it stands to reason that sufficiently intelligent algorithm can do the same.

I'll repeat myself too: You haven't figured it out, you're only convinced that you have. How can you know that I'm not saying "All fruit have the same trajectory as a banana?".

Your problem is probably lack of interaction with the real world. Go to court some day and watch proceedings of a trial - there is no such thing that a sentence is "obvious". In even the most trivial of defences the defence attorney is going to argue, sometimes successfully, that a much structured and mostly unambiguous piece of legislation is too vague to apply to his client.

about a month ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Not convinced (176 comments)

Humans can distinguish such ambiguous language constructs. For example: "I once saw a deer riding my bicycle." Although there are at least two ways to interpret the sentence, only one makes sense in nearly all contexts. Now since I am able to figure it out,

No, you haven't.

it stands to reason that sufficiently intelligent algorithm can do the same.

Well, you thought that I meant "I was out on my bicycle when I saw a deer", but what I actually meant was "I was in my yard when a deer rode past on my bicycle". How the hell can you be sure that I meant the former and not the latter?

Worst case scenario, if the language interpreter cannot figure it out, it does what humans do in the same situation: it asks for clarification.

Nope, wrong again - worst case scenario is that the language interpreter does not figure it out, and doesn't realise that it hasn't figured it out!. Best case scenario in case of errors is the interpreter managing to figure out that it got the incorrect meaning.

about a month ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Next Big Thing! (176 comments)

Emacs' shell wrapper is just that: shell wrapper. Typing anywhere but at command prompt makes no sense. Command goes at the bottom. Output after it. Command at the bottom. Output. Rinse and repeat. You can't have (a) commands/outputs out of order, (b) non-shell commands or (c) re-execute in-place part of output as command.

Well, perhaps my emacs is broken then, because it lets me type anywhere and accepts the line as a command upon pressing enter. I can also scroll up and position the cursor on any line in the emacs window and press enter and it will accept that line as a command to execute, even if that line was not a command previously but the output of a command.

Probably you simply never met with such problems so it is hard for you to even realize where from I'm (and apparently authors of xiki are) coming.

I'm afraid you are correct - I simply cannot see anything in that video which I cannot also do using a shell from emacs, and I'm way too lazy to make and post a video of myself doing emacs-as-a-shell. There's a slime video on youtube somewhere that shows the user using emacs exactly as the FA video shows, but with more functionality (and with software from over a decade ago).

about a month ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Next Big Thing! (176 comments)

From TFA

Ruby is a wonderful language for [...] mobile devices, like phones, tablets, smart watches, smart glasses, and all the "Internet of things" that the buzzspeakers are so excited about.

It's hard to take a 'reviewer' seriously when they make goofs of such epic proportions, such as these. This blogger is obviously unaware that the IoT devices (along with a lot of the 'smart' devices) aren't going to be able to run ruby crap.

about a month ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Next Big Thing! (176 comments)

I dunno about the rest, but for filesystem browsing you can use vim :e on a directory which vim will then let you navigate

Well, you really have to try it first to understand the difference.

Browsing a directory in VIM - ':E' - shows you the content of directory in a buffer. What xiki demo shows is more of ^X^F (because you edit the path right in the editor window, with the rest of your text) but allowing you to actually dynamically run ^X^F on different parts of the dir/file name, changing content of the window accordingly. IOW, while ':E' is a dedicated browser, xiki does something like ^X^F to allow to edit/browse/etc inline, right in the middle of the text file, at any time when you need it.

And that's where the "innovation" comes. The tools to do all the things exist. But they all have different (and typically graphical) user interfaces. Xiki/etc try to combine the tools by putting them into an text editor, and making their output interactive and/or ready to be fed to the another tool. Because despite all the chrome, the basic nature of the content of the editor's window doesn't change: it is plain text. Commands are just text lines. Output are just text lines. It all becomes alive when special macro is run, which looks at the current line and tries to decide what to do with it.

Another way to look at it, and the way I often use my VIM hack, is that the same text file serves dual purpose: it is at the same time the script and the output of the script. The script and its output are interleaved. (That for example allows a very nice minor perk: rerun any command, flip between undo/redo and see the differences between then and now.)

I've used emacs for that (editing 'uneditable' things in the buffer and then re-executing). See my post above - handy link here

about a month ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Next Big Thing! (176 comments)

Xiki, being a cross of Ruby and a text editor, apparently does more: it recognizes and presents as interactive not only the shell commands, but also the file system hierarchy, the Ruby code, the SQL statements, the CSS, the HTML, and probably more.

I dunno about the rest, but for filesystem browsing you can use vim :e on a directory which vim will then let you navigate

about a month ago
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Meet Carla Shroder's New Favorite GUI-Textmode Hybrid Shell, Xiki

goose-incarnated Re:Next Big Thing! (176 comments)

Thank you. I've watched the screencast but I really do fail to see any utility in Xiki, only novelty. Can you describe something that Xiki can do that cannot be done with `:r!`? I would really love to add Xiki to my toolbox if it is useful, but I fail to see that.

If you want something better than :r! in vim, use emacs as a shell. I used emacs as a shell for years - you can cut-n-paste (multiple buffers), use the mouse to mark regions, save the entire session as a file, load a previously used session, search back, search forward, edit previous commands before running them, edit the output of previous commands (and then run them), execute the odd elisp expression (need a calculator quickly? It's built in), surf the web, read/send email, read usenet (or read slashdot), play rogue, elisa, snake or tetris, annotate previous commands, run multiple shells.

You still get all the normal stuff too - autocomplete, file and directory browsing, standard piping to forked processes, set/reset/unset variables, syntax highlighting of your shell, normal edit-compile-debug cycle, etc

(I've heard rumours that there's a text editor included with it too ;-)

about a month ago

Submissions

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Reference Management in HTML

goose-incarnated goose-incarnated writes  |  more than 2 years ago

goose-incarnated writes "Blog writing should be just as well researched as real writing. It should be well-referenced with proper citations. Unfortunately, I did not find any such library that will easily make linked citations to a references database that can be used when writing material for the browser. So, I wrote my own, at lelanthran.com.

Feel free to use and distribute — it works well in WikkaWiki with the raw html mode turned on (not a problem, as my particular Wikkawiki is private)."

Link to Original Source
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Google with egg on their face?

goose-incarnated goose-incarnated writes  |  about 3 years ago

goose-incarnated writes "Google Android Developer Challenge motivates devs to write for iPhone instead. See my short blog post about the Google mixup that got Google motivating me to come up with a new and novel mobile "killer-application" that will soon be deployed on iPhones.

Does anyone know if Apple lets African devs sell their apps in the Apple App Store?"

Link to Original Source
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Aid in conception, gender choice of foetus

goose-incarnated goose-incarnated writes  |  more than 3 years ago

goose-incarnated writes "As an aid to conception (and gender selection of the resulting offspring) I offer up this tiny project here. Note that it is still in beta stage, as funding hasn't come through to complete the data gathering (hence no privacy implications until it is modified and recompiled). The proposal paper over here has a bit more detail on what is intended.

Feel free to download and use."

Link to Original Source
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FIFA owns South African Flag IP

goose-incarnated goose-incarnated writes  |  more than 4 years ago

goose-incarnated (1145029) writes "IP Laws going overboard in SA, where a national carrier has been warned off using the South African National flag in it's advertisements by FIFA for the upcoming world-cup event. Reading somewhat like an Onion story, ""They said we cannot depict the Cape Town stadium, we can't use soccer balls, or the word 'South Africa', and the depiction of the national flag is not allowed," said marketing manager Nadine Damen. "

From the "all-your-base" dept."

Link to Original Source
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Smoking and Caffeine May Protect Against Parkinson

goose-incarnated goose-incarnated writes  |  more than 6 years ago

goose-incarnated (1145029) writes "Apparently, there can be some benefits for smokers, if you look hard enough. http://www.physorg.com/news95354576.html is one of many articles available that summarises some of the hard research done into tobacco and nicotine. A quick google search http://www.google.co.za/search?hl=en&q=alzheimers+parkinsons+smoking&btnG=Google+Search&meta= shows that this news is not exactly a secret anyway.

"Smoking lowers your chances of alzheimers" — they should put that on the packet of cigarettes :-)."

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Advertising

goose-incarnated goose-incarnated writes  |  more than 5 years ago Saw this on the side of my screen today:
As our way of thanking you for your positive contributions to Slashdot, you are eligible to disable advertising.
Lovely :-)

I decided to tell slashdot how grateful I am to be able to do this, and why I will not actually do it, but could not find any email contact ... hopefully someone in charge will get the message below

To Slashdot
As my way of thanking slashdot for the free news service, and allowing me to read and partake in various discussions, I won't be disabling advertisements on slashdot. I will, however, read each one I see and attempt to make purchases if an advertisement is for a product I want.

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