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Federal Judge Rules Chicago's Ban On Licensed Gun Dealers Unconstitutional

gravis777 Re:Took them long enough... (934 comments)

They ruled that the "Defense of Marriage Act"'s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

Um, where did you get that? The act is still in place - states don't have to recognize same-sex marriages. The only Supreme Court ruling that I know of (quick Google search seems to confirm, but I may not have used the right search terms) had to do with California's Prop 8, and the ruling said that you cannot take rights away from a group once they had already been granted. If the Supreme Court had struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, then Utah wouldn't have been able to appeal.

They also stated that one state does not have to recognize what happens in another state, but the federal government does - ie if you are married in California, Texas doesn't have to recognize the marriage as legal, but the IRS does when you list your spouse on your tax forms.

It (mostly) affirmed the constutionality of "affirmative action" in university admissions

Eh, that is a bit of a stretch. In a nutshell, they said that race could not be the only determining factor, gave a list of guidelines, and sent it back to the lower courts.

about 8 months ago

Ancient Pompeii Diet Consisted of Giraffe and Other "Exotic'" Delicacies

gravis777 Re:Typical Roman cuisine (172 comments)

Yes, but this still has me wondering. Meat spoils pretty fast if it is not refrigerated. Maybe they had ice ships or something and only transported in the winter, or maybe they had farms where they raised exotic animals for food supplies. Even if these animals were in Northern Africa, it would take a few days to cross the Mediterranian with wind / oars, and then it would have to have been transported over land or the Nile through Africa to the port in Africa, so it would be spoiled by the time they reached Pompeii

Unless the ancient Italians knew about drying meats. Giraffe jearkey anyone?

Actually, I wonder if maybe they trapped the animals, shipped them, and then slaughtered them at their destination. This would keep you from having spoilage.

about 8 months ago

World's First Cycle Trip To the South Pole Achieved

gravis777 Re:Epic South Pole (49 comments)

Actually, this is the same news, although I do like Daniel's blog.


Despite starting days later than her competitors Maria is significantly closer to the finish than American, Daniel Burton, and Spaniard, Juan Menendez Granados. The two men are cycling the most common route from Hercules Inlet to the South Pole on Fat Bikes – an approach that has been taken before but without success.

about 9 months ago

New Study Shows One-Third of Americans Don't Believe In Evolution

gravis777 Re:I believe it (1010 comments)

Very interesting read. I do have a question though - it seems that a good portion of your argument stems from intellegent people who are believers because they have been indoctorinated from a young age. So, how would you explain an intelligent person in a Christian society who imbraces, say, Islam or Buddhism as and adult, or say a person in a strict Islamic-law nation who decides as an adult to embrace Christianity knowing the oppression they will face?

Not saying your argument is right or wrong - it is very well written and insightful, I just feel that it is a bit incomplete.

about 9 months ago

Researchers Claim Facebook Is 'Dead and Buried' To Many Young Users

gravis777 Re:16 -18 year olds have never had a reason to use (457 comments)

Totally agree. Most of the under-20ish people I know use Facebook primaraly for games. The 20-40ish crowd may have accounts, but find themselves too busy nowadays to really use it.

I find that the thing that really seems to have killed Facebook is the "share" feature - especially on photos and videos. Now all Facebook is is people sharing comics, 6-month-old newsstories, virus hoaxes, etc. I wish there was a way to block all "shared" content - but more than that, I wish Facebook would just remove the feature. At least, if a person wants to share a website, they need to copy and paste the URL - do away with the ability to share someone else's posts and pictures.

Maybe then, Facebook may actually get back to being useful.

I have actually been thinking of jumping the Facebook ship myself, mainly because of everything I have mentioned. The only reason I haven't yet is because there really is no good alternative. At least, not in the English-speaking world. I just want to know what my friends are up to, if they are in a relationship, and see pictures and videos of their kids (and maybe vacation photos). I don't care if you joined a new team in such-and-such game, I don't need 20 of my friends to share Uncle George's picture of the day, and I don't want to see inspirational posts unless I am on an imspirational page.

Truthfully, I find Instagram to be much closer to what I am looking for in a social-networking site.

Facebook is turning off older users, and younger users don't have a need for it, and everyone in between just doesn't have time to sort through all the crap that is on Facebook now. As soon as a viable alternative comes up, people will jump ship. It happened to MySpace, which was thought to be unsinkable. It will happen to Facebook.

about 9 months ago

Researchers Claim Facebook Is 'Dead and Buried' To Many Young Users

gravis777 Re:My Newsfeed barely moves! (457 comments)

SocialFixer puts your posts back into Chronological order

about 9 months ago

Researchers Claim Facebook Is 'Dead and Buried' To Many Young Users

gravis777 Re:Good. (457 comments)

I hate it when those damn kids start playing on my lawn.

I'm not familar with that game, but I block game requests on Facebook.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Do Mobile Versions of Websites Suck?

gravis777 Why have mobile versions? (382 comments)

A tablet is capable of rendering a desktop version of a page reasnoably. As for a phone, not many people are going to be surfing the web on a phone. Those that are are usually looking to do one or two things (ie a google search, buy movie tickets, pay a bill, get directions, etc). Most sites where users want to do a specific feature on a phone already have mobile version or a phone app available.

Most people are not going to be reading a church website, a city or state website, trying to run Galaxy Zoo, or likewise on their cell phones, so why go through all the trouble to rewrite a site?

Now, there are a handful of people I know whom a cell phone is their only data-connection at home. Many of those will either go to a friend's house, library or work or the couple of times that they need a desktop for something (such as filling for unemployment or job searching or doing their taxes). It could be argued that maybe the unemployment office and welfare pages might benefit from mobile versions of their sites, but as those are government agencies, I don't expect to see that any time soon.

Truthfully, the reason that most places don't have a mobile site is that they don't need it. It is as simple as that.

about 9 months ago

Former Microsoft Exec To Lead

gravis777 Huge difference in jobs (214 comments)

will replace Jeffrey Zients, who stepped in to lead the team fixing the health insurance website when it crashed and burned on its Oct. 1 launch. Zients is set to take over next month as senior White House economic adviser

So, you either have an economist who was working in an IT position, which may explain why the website is having such problems, or you have an IT guy who is going to step into an economist position, which means that the economy is going to tank. Or you have a manager who doesn't understand either but acts like they do. Who thought this was a good idea?

about 9 months ago

Swedish Man Fined $650,000 For Sharing 1 Movie, Charged Extra For Low Quality

gravis777 Re:Low Q? (366 comments)

Would be nice if someone created a website where people could submit newsstories and they get reviewed by multiple people before going live to prevent exactly this sort of thing from happening.

Oh wait, that's slashdot circa 1999.

We are seeing more and more of these bogus newsstories on slashdot. I think Slashdot needs to fire a few editors and do away with the Firehose.

about 9 months ago

Harvard Bomb Hoax Perpetrator Caught Despite Tor Use

gravis777 Obligatory comment (547 comments)

I thought Harvard students were smarter than that.

about 9 months ago

Surviving the Internet On Low Speed DSL

gravis777 Whaaa! (277 comments)

Lets get real here for a moment. It’s 1.5mbps DSL. It isn’t going to be fast. There’s nothing you can do but work around it and not try to make it something it isn’t.

Oh, whaaa! You may not be able to stream 1080p SuperHD from Netflix or HDX from Vudu, but this is fine for just about everyone. Most of my friends who are on DSL are on 768k, and I got a few friends on cable and UVerse at 1meg and 1.5 meg. They watch YouTube and Netflix, they download torrents, they play games.

Truthfully, if you are still close enough to an exchange to get DSL, you are probably in an area where you can get wireless internet (microwave). I have friends who live way out on ranches and stuff who have microwave internet and 40Mbps speeds with unlimited transfers. And if you are really out there, there is always HughesNet and CenturyLink.

Yeah, I may have 20meg at home, but I don't think I would be complaining about having to deal with "slow" 1.5, as you have options pretty much anywhere in North America to get faster via satelite, and I could make allowances (such as downloading versus streaming) to compensate if I want to do HD. I had 1.5Mbps for years up until about 7 or 8 years ago, and it was fine.

80ms ping rate isn't bad either. It's not great, but up until about 3-4 years ago, that is what I was getting on most things. So it takes a few extra seconds for facebook to load up. Whaa!

Worse, the article is really poorly written. It sounds mostly like a rant from someone who thinks he is entitled to fiber or something.

about 9 months ago

Exponential Algorithm In Windows Update Slowing XP Machines

gravis777 Re:On and off for more than a year.... (413 comments)

Longer than that - I was dealing with this issue 8 years ago working desktop support (I'm in networking now). While I never put together svchost was related to Windows Update, I was always having svchost kill my XP machines, and I knew the more updates that were installed, the longer it took to run Windows Update.

Doesn't really matter now, though. XP is EOL in a few months. If you still want to run XP, just turn Windows Updates off - its not like you will miss anything.

about 9 months ago

Inside the Massive 2014 Winter Olympics WiFi Network

gravis777 alpine or Alpine? (107 comments)

tight cluster of Alpine venues in the nearby Krasnaya Polyana Mountains

I am sure this is a typo, but I thought it funny. According to, if the word Alpine has a capitol A, it means either 1)of, pertaining to, on, or part of the Alps or 2) of or pertaining to downhill skiing or a competitive downhill skiing event.

Down further in the page:
1. of or relating to the Alps or their inhabitants
2. geology
          a. of or relating to an episode of mountain building in the Tertiary period during which the Alps were formed

As the article is not referring to The Alps, but rather to the Krasnaya Polyana Mountains, they should be using the word "alpine" with a lowercase A.

Yes, I am being a grammar Nazi, but found it funny.

about 9 months ago

DRM Has Always Been a Horrible Idea

gravis777 Re:No Shit (281 comments)

You got that from the article? The article is written by ComputerWorld, suggests that only a couple of people get it, and litterally says the rest of the entertainment industry doesn't.

And quite frankly, I am not sure why ComputerWorld even bothered to write an article about this - pretty much anyone who reads a computing magazine will already know that DRM is bad, and doesn't even speak to their target readers - software pirates (as opposed to movie or music pirates). Shoot, I cannot tell you how many times I have purchased a game, and ended up having to go download a crack because I had issues getting the game to work. The No-CD cracks are really nice - so I don't have to go digging out my discs to play a game I have installed.

In short, the article told us nothing we didn't already know, offered no insight at all, didn't even really speak to its target audience, and is really not news-worthy. But the story-publishing guidelines on Slashdot seems to have really gone downhill lately.

about 9 months ago

GM's CEO Rejects Repaying Feds for Bailout Losses

gravis777 Of course they shouldn't repay (356 comments)

GM had met the terms required of it from the bailout - some of which was paying back in cash, and some of which was paying in stock. The government decided to sell the stock at a loss. That's not GM's fault.

Here is my question - what happened to GM stock when that many shares suddenly flooded the market? Wouldn't that make stock prices go DOWN? Ironically, though, the stock price went up considerably as investors are happy the government no longer holds a part of GM.

In any case, whether GM benefited from this or not, the point is that 1)GM fulfilled its obligation and 2) the government sold stock at a loss. Maybe this lesson will force the government to make better financial decisions. Okay, probably not, but one could hope

about 9 months ago

Disney Pulls a Reverse Santa, Takes Back Christmas Shows From Amazon Customers

gravis777 Re:Can someone explain (418 comments)

"customers should never lose access to their Amazon Instant Video purchases."

This was actually one of Amazon's big selling points a couple of years ago - if you purchase a digital video through Amazon, you are not suppose to loose access to it. HOWEVER, this statement is not what Amazon's Terms of Use says:

e. Availability of Purchased Digital Content . Purchased Digital Content will generally continue to be available to you for download or streaming from the Service, as applicable, but may become unavailable due to potential content provider licensing restrictions and for other reasons, and Amazon will not be liable to you if Purchased Digital Content becomes unavailable for further download or streaming. You may download and store your own copy of Purchased Digital Content on a Compatible Device authorized for such download so that you can view that Purchased Digital Content if it becomes unavailable for further download or streaming from the Service.

Vudu seems to have clearer Terms of Service, which seem to favor the viewer - from Vudu's Terms of Service:

Exhibition periods for Content will vary depending on the method of purchase or rental and the Content being purchased or rented. When you purchase or rent Content, it is your responsibility to review any additional terms of use provided to you. Such additional terms of use may set forth restrictions upon your window of time to initiate viewing of content and, once initiated, the duration of time you have to complete viewing such Content. If no additional terms concerning timing and duration of viewing the Content are applicable to your order, then the following general terms may apply:
If you purchase Content, you may view it for as long as you (i) are capable of accessing the VUDU Service, and (ii) maintain an active VUDU Account.

about 9 months ago

NASA's Next Mars Mission Will Join the Interplanetary Internet

gravis777 Re:signals by laser from Alpha Centauri (53 comments)

You think the latency is bad, this will be the slowest deployment roleout in history

about 9 months ago

Boston Police Stop Scanning Registration Plates, For Now

gravis777 Re:Boston PD (110 comments)

Sounds more like some cops need to be fired. They have also said to the country that if you want a place to hide your stolen vehicles, Boston is the place to go

about 9 months ago

Satanists Propose Monument At Oklahoma State Capitol Next To Ten Commandments

gravis777 Re:It's an embarassment (1251 comments)

Maybe the law should read that only local groups can put up monuments. That way, they represent the community, not some politically-correctness thing. The Satanist group is from New York - they shouldn't have any sayso as to what happens in Oklahoma. Now, if they have a branch in Tulsa, and the branch wants to put up a monument, that is different.

Problem is, when you let outside groups dictate what can or cannot be put up, then no one is going to be happy. I could go around the country demanding that all government and public education places that have statues or names of Chris Columbus on them change because I am offended that some idiot who doesn't even understand the science of his own time and then goes and starts slave trade, paprticipates in human trafficing of children, did horrible acts against humanity and was actually stripped of his office and title by his own government for these reasons. I could sue the entire city of Columbus, Ohio, sue the District of Columbia, sue CBS, etc.

Let's stick though with seperation of Church and State. Does anyone know what the First Ammendment actually says?

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

This speaks to the United States Congress and the federal government. The issue in place is about an Oklahoma State Building on state land. First Ammendment doesn't apply (although some Supreme Court decisions may state otherwise - I honestly do not know every court decision ever made, I am not a law student). By extension, the first Ammendment does not apply to schools or city governments.

However, in 1947, there was a Supreme Court decision. Justice Hugo Black wrote, 'The "establishment of religion" clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion to another ... in the words of Jefferson, the [First Amendment] clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect 'a wall of separation between church and State' ... That wall must be kept high and impregnable. We could not approve the slightest breach."'

This did extend the first Ammendment to include states, and, from my brief research, is where the term "seperation of church and state" appear.

So governments cannot establish a church, and by this ammendment, a state or federal government cannot setup their own religious monuments (this does not apply to cities). But, likewise they cannot prevent a private entity from setting up a monument because to do so would show preference to one religion or another (or lack of religion). So they cannot stop a group from doing this.....


and it doesn't say this, but you could go back to this - this is STATE land, so a New York group really should have no say. If it was federal land, that would be different.

about 9 months ago



Sleeping Beauty BluRay requires acceptance of EULA

gravis777 gravis777 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gravis777 writes "BoingBoing is reporting that Disney requires you to accept over 120 pages of agreements on the Sleeping Beauty BluRay. A link in the article states

Now we don't have a problem with BD-Live updates/downloads per say, but we do take issue with Disney requiring us to agree to a 57 PAGE EULA in order to access the BD-Live content. On top of that, you also have to agree to a 63 Page Privacy Policy in order to gain access to the BD-Live content.


Link to Original Source

IOC trademarks line of Canadian National Anthem

gravis777 gravis777 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gravis777 writes "BoingBoing is reporting that the International Olympic Committee has trademarked a line from the Canadian National Anthem and is threatening to sue anyone who uses it. The line in question is "with glowing hearts". FTA:

The committee is so serious about protecting the Olympic brand it managed to get a landmark piece of legislation passed in the House of Commons last year that made using certain phrases related to the Games a violation of law. The list includes the number 2010 and the word "winter," phrases that normally couldn't be trademarked because they are so general.


Link to Original Source

Adobe users claim file corruption after 10.5.3 upd

gravis777 gravis777 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gravis777 (123605) writes "
Users of Adobe's Creative Suite 3 software are complaining that files saved to network volumes are being corrupted, and have linked the problem to their recent update to Mac OS X 10.5.3 "Leopard."...... Adobe, for its part, told users a year and a half ago not to work on files stored over networks "because of potential file corruption." Adobe laid the blame squarely on Apple, saying that Apple had changed AppleShare components in the then-current Mac OS X 10.4.6 release.

Link to Original Source

BluRay Disc sales Impacting DVD

gravis777 gravis777 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gravis777 (123605) writes "High-Def Digest is running a story stating that BluRay disc sales are finally impacting on the sales of DVDs. FTA: "Disney's Blu-ray chart-topper 'No Country for Old Men' drew 9.8 percent of its total unit sales from Blu-ray during its first five days in stores. Faring even better was Fox's 'Hitman,' which saw 12.6 percent of total customers taking home the Blu-ray version during its first five days.By comparison, high-def percentages during the height of the format war rarely topped 2 to 3 percent of a title's total disc sales. (Even 2007's biggest high-def seller, the HD DVD-only release of 'Transformers,' generated little more than 4 percent of its total unit sales from the next-gen version.)" "
Link to Original Source

Mystery image on Mars

gravis777 gravis777 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gravis777 (123605) writes "The BBC is reporting on an image that NASA has released that has the internet abuzz that there may be life on Mars. FTA: An image of a mysterious shape on the surface of Mars, taken by Nasa spacecraft Spirit, has reignited the debate about life on the Red Planet. A magnified version of the picture, posted on the internet, appears to some to show what resembles a human form among a crop of rocks."

HD format war seen dragging on

gravis777 gravis777 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

gravis777 (123605) writes "Reuters is reporting that most retailers are relucant to declair a winner in the HD format wars. FTA: "The high-definition DVD format war has not been won, at least not in the minds of the retailers. Last week, Time Warner Inc's (TWX.N: Quote, Profile, Research) Warner Bros studio said it would exclusively release high-definition DVDs in Blu-ray format instead of Toshiba Corp's (6502.T: Quote, Profile, Research) competing HD DVD technology. While the announcement was seen as tipping the balance of power in favor of the Blu-ray format, retailers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week did not see the announcement as a definitive sign of a clear winner. "I don't think we're in a position to go out and declare a winner," said Steve Eastman, Target Corp's (TGT.N: Quote, Profile, Research) vice president of consumer electronics, in an interview."


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