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Drought Inspires a Boom In Pseudoscience, From Rain Machines To 'Water Witches'

idontgno Re:What's the problem? (259 comments)

A dowser is less effective than a geologist and bears, at the minimum, a higher opportunity cost over the average (of instances of people searching for water with a dowser instead of a geologist).

A fine economic analysis, but you're forgetting the balance-of-costs comparison.

If what you saved using a dowser (who, by your own scenario, is cheaper than a geologist) is more than the cost of two wasted wells, the dowser was a cost-effective alternative. In that case.

If, on the other hand, the dowser wasn't much cheaper, or you had to sink 5 dry wells, or your dowser never finds water, the dowser was a net loss.

I think that on balance, the latter scenarios are more likely. If you're thinking about choosing dowsing, you're better off just throwing darts at a large map of your property and saving that cost for the same effectiveness.

But if you're going to do an economic analysis, show all your work.

4 days ago

The American Workday, By Profession

idontgno "More advanced economies?" (146 comments)

Still, Americans work more night and weekend hours than people in other advanced economies,

I believe the correct definition of an advanced economy is one which enables, empowers, and encourages a worker to be fully engaged and continuously productive at all hours of every day of the week, maximizing shareholder value and business agility while minimizing costs.

Question for the reader: Am I joking, trolling, or serious?

4 days ago

HP Recalls 6 Million Power Cables Over Fire Hazard

idontgno Re:Not the PSUs? The actual cables? (135 comments)

Is true. Only great motherland can make correct power wires.

Glory to Arstotzka and its great Patriotic Wire and Cable Harness Factory #4!

5 days ago

California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

idontgno Re:No Steering Wheel In Time (505 comments)

All of that said, the spectre (or joke) of Google Perpetual Beta would be worrying, if it were still a thing. Assuming it's really not a thing anymore, rather than a thing that's been carefully buried out of public view.

about a week ago

California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

idontgno Re:No Steering Wheel In Time (505 comments)

False dilemma. An autonomous car with manual controls does not invalidate the experience gathered in autonomous driving, as long as the vehicle logs whether the car is under manual or computer control at any given moment.

about a week ago

California DMV Told Google Cars Still Need Steering Wheels

idontgno Re:No Steering Wheel In Time (505 comments)

What, 100% of driver-operated cars are guaranteed to crash?

As enamored as you are of the technology, dial back the hyperbole. It doesn't do the cause any good.

It's called "paying your dues". No one gets away without it. You prove, by extended experience over a long period of time, that the new technology is superior to the old. After a couple of generations (of people, not technology), it's accepted and the shackles of the old can safely go away.

about a week ago

Early Bitcoin User Interviewed By Federal Officers

idontgno Re:Only fair (92 comments)

Wait, wut? The cops are coming after Social Security participants?

Hundreds of millions of hard-working contributors, SCREWED.

about a week ago

Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

idontgno Re:Urgh (525 comments)

I always figured Jesus Christ predated Owen as a socialist thinker which, incidentally, also causes me to be amused over how so many socialist hating conservatives also claim to be devout Christians.

All the believers were together and had everything in common.They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.

-- Acts 2:44-47

All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God's grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need.

-- Acts 4:32-35

The first Christian church in history was a festering den of socialism.

This tells me that a lot of "Christians" need to reconsider their politics, or at least their committment to cut-throat capitalism.

about a week ago

$75K Prosthetic Arm Is Bricked When Paired iPod Is Stolen

idontgno Re:If true, it is no longer the case with new devi (194 comments)

I dunno; if the serial number is emitted over bluetooth, or guessable/brute-forceable, a range of 100 feet may mean dozens of people in which one troll may lurk, waiting to make your prosthetic go all Dr. Strangelove on you.

I'm not seeing the security here, other than the comparatively small attack space.

about a week ago

When Customer Dissatisfaction Is a Tech Business Model

idontgno Re:People should leave. They Don't. (257 comments)

Perhaps it was habit? Perhaps it was that the gas was 5cents cheaper a gallon?

A nickle a gallon? I'd buy gasoline made from pressed baby kitties and the condensed death agonies of the last endangered whales on earth for a 5 cents a gallon less than the local competitors.

I guess that makes me part of the problem.

And, of course, as other responders have pointed out, the BP pumps were stocked from the exact same local distributor as the Shell pumps across the street, and the Exxon ones up the road, and the "independent" one across town... and quite possibly all from crude from the platform and oil field that went "boom!".

So unless you were willing to completely give up all petroleum products (including textiles and agro-chemical based foodstuffs), or drill your own well in your own back yard and build your own refinery, you aren't going to be able to avoid feeding the machine you hate. Welcome to the 21st Century.

about two weeks ago

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

idontgno Re:Should be interesting RE- Nato (375 comments)

You're saying Spain should oppose Scottish independence on the basis that they don't want to give Basque or Catalan seperatists any ideas?

Interesting idea.

about two weeks ago

Would Scottish Independence Mean the End of UK's Nuclear Arsenal?

idontgno Re:Nope (375 comments)

I know this is Slashdot, and R'ing TFS is almost too much to ask, but please note that we're focused primarily on the impact of withdrawing the UK's nuclear capability from Scotland. In this sense, I put forth the very narrow example of the civil workforce at HMNB Clyde and working very specifically on Trident II and Vanguard-class operations.

I was just pointing the absurd underestimation of Simon Brooke's claims of less than 50 affected jobs, which I must surmise was yanked out of his ass.

Yes. Withdrawing MoD's entire impact on the Scottish economy will be a substantial effect, even if pro-independence partisans promise that everyone thusly rendered unemployed will either find employment in the Scottish government or somehow continue to be able to work for the MoD... somehow.

FWIW, I sense a lot of handwaving on this issue from that side. Something akin to "It'll be fine because STFU."

about two weeks ago

Tech Looks To Obama To Save Them From 'Just Sort of OK' US Workers

idontgno Re:What they're really saying is... (441 comments)

Or to hire a more experienced person at the prevailing wage for a more experience person.

about two weeks ago

Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

idontgno Welcome to Wikipedia (239 comments)

the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit. As long as they kiss the ring and swear fealty to WikiMedia.

Honestly, is anyone surprised? I guess the only wrinkle I can see is the division in the ranks of the fascist editor cabal.

Next up, a wikipedia Night of the Long Knives, where dissident editors are "defensively removed" to prevent their "planned putsch."

about two weeks ago

Calif. Court Rules Businesses Must Reimburse Cell Phone Bills

idontgno Re:The memo you are about to see (161 comments)

You know what they used to call people who hung around payphones waiting for business phone calls?

Street-level drug dealers.

There's a fabulous business image to project right there.

about two weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: What Do You Wish You'd Known Starting Out As a Programmer?

idontgno In a large organization, politics matter (548 comments)

You can ignore them, in which case you've volunteered for the role of "victim".

You can make them your full-time job, in which case you're no longer a developer.

You should find a good defensive middle ground. At least, some situational awareness. Put your head up and look around. And listen.

about two weeks ago

Do Readers Absorb Less On Kindles Than On Paper? Not Necessarily

idontgno Counter-anecdote (105 comments)

I don't do much ebook reading, but I can assure you that since I tend to read books random access*, I can easily get plot sequences out of line.

This is not specifically an ebook problem, if it's any kind of problem at all.

*Yeah. I skip around sometimes. The author is not the boss of me. If I want to jump ahead, cheat and see the ending early, whatever... that's how I read it.

about two weeks ago



9th U.S. Circuit Affirms Ban of WoW Glider Bot

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 3 years ago

idontgno (624372) writes "In its judgment yesterday, 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the World of Warcraft bot software Glider violates the "Anti-circumvention" provisions of the DMCA and cannot be distributed. Oddly, though, it also decided that Glider doesn't actually violate Blizzard's copyrights in the process. So exactly why does the DMCA apply?"
Link to Original Source

US Dems fill inboxes with 419 scams

idontgno idontgno writes  |  about 5 years ago

idontgno (624372) writes "Looks like the U.S. Democratic National Party is hosting an unprotected web-based mail sending application which 419'ers are exploiting to get past mail filtering. (In some cases, I guess. I'd blacklist both major political parties, but that's just me.) As reported on The Register ("
Link to Original Source

Bush White House Must Find Lost Official E-Mail

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 5 years ago

idontgno (624372) writes "According to this Associated Press story (which I saw via El Reg, a U. S. District Court has ruled that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics In Washington (CREW) and the National Security Archive can continue in their lawsuit to force the White House to recover up to 225 days of "lost" official e-mail traffic from 2003. The Administration's position, rejected by U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy, was that the courts had no authority to order the recovery of the e-mail.

This ruling appears to settle the issue mentioned in this earlier Slashdot story.

On a personal note, I stand gobsmacked that the Administration's argument boiled down to "You're not the boss of me!""



Free software modtrolls strike!

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 7 years ago


I posted a reasonable, well-intentioned, and sincere query about how anyone could think that the FSF has any real leverage over Suse--any meaningful way of expressing their evident displeasure at Novell signing on with Microsoft.

There was no inflamatory language. There were no waving red flags. There was no fanboi-ism. Frankly, I don't think there was any discernable bias one way or the other.

And along comes some clueless n00b to "-1 Flamebait" it.

Simply amazing. Amazing that mod points could be graced upon a slashdotter who could be most charitably characterized as a waste of oxygen. Amazing that once said slashdotter (henceforth known as "Puddinhead") got those mod points, he could wipe the drool off his chin and summon the intellectual muscle to work the moderation combobox. Even more amazing, if this moronic abuse of moderation represented Puddinhead's idea of taking a genuine and well thought-out position on the subject rather than the spastic twitches and burbles of the defective mentality he surely has.

Sigh. I am guessing the metamods will address this, but there are plenty of fanboi sheeples who M2 here who will agree with what they read into the moderation ("How dare he question The Stallman and his Crusade!?!"). But it doesn't matter. My karma remains excellent, because in the end, this moderation is "a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."


WTF!??! A no-comment poll?

idontgno idontgno writes  |  about 9 years ago Today's poll, "Favorite tool of destruction?" has among other choices "Other (specify)". (Sadly, not a CowboyNeal option, but I'll get over it.)

Anyway, great. I love chiming in. After all, "High explosives" wasn't one of their offerings, so I had to vote "Other."

Ooh, lookie, no comments at any mod level. Schweet, I get FP!

WTF!?! No "Reply" button? And why the flaming hell does it say that the discussion has already been archived? It's been up maybe a day! With NO COMMENTS! Only 5000 votes! AND NO COMMENTS!?!?!? "Archived" my caucasian butt!

Feh. So much for "Other". I just wasted my vote.

Somebody screwed up most cleverly here.

I've not angry, just terribly, terribly hurt. -- Marvin Martian


Mod points!

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 9 years ago Well, out of the blue, 5 mod points! After months of moderation drought. I wonder if this is the beginning of something big?

On the other hand, Scientific American's "Skeptic" column pointed out that we primates have a bad habit of using our acute little pattern recognition cability to draw little causal connection arrows between completely unrelated but coincidentally-timed events. So maybe it just means /.'s PRNG hiccuped just so and bestowed precious precious mod points on me.

Naah, it's really because I'm extra spe-shul.


wikiwikiwiki! That's a sound effect!

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 9 years ago I find myself slowly falling in love with wikipedia. Damn. It's scary.

Yeah, I know, it lacks authority, it's just a rabble spewing their institutionalized ignorace, it's a blog pretending to be an encyclopedia.

So, it's a lot like /. How's that for scary?

Anyways, it's fun. Lately I'm mostly playing whack-a-vandal. It's a petty game, really, but I get the cheap and vindictive thrill of undoing some yutz's graffitization of a perfectly good article. There's a moment of "In your FACE, Mr.! Don't bring your weak editing crap here NO MORE!" And then I have to ride herd on the article, because I know the foo' is coming back for more.

Eventually, I'll outgrow this phase. I guess it's like the first 5 mod points here, where the desire to smack down offtopics and flamebaits is irresistable. I'm sure in time I'll move on to more positive pursuits there, just like whenever I get modpoints here I try to upmod, not down.


Ampersand entities, national currencies, and stealth changes

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 9 years ago In a not-so-recent journal entry, I noted the rather sudden and unheralded ability of Slashcode to display the Euro currency mark: €

At the time, I tested to see whether some other currency marks would work. The yen, the pound, and the cent all failed to display.

Examine that journal entry now, and you'll find that the Yen mark (¥) and Pound mark (£) display beautifully. As they do now in this very entry.

WTF!??! How and when did this suddenly get fixed!? My old journal entries are beginning to look like unwarranted whining. I'm beginning to look like a clueless putz because of it.

Dammit. At least the cent mark isn't working:

<-- see, nothing!

(At least for now.)


Damn. I'm not getting any moderator love.

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 10 years ago My "excellent" karma is not bringing me the adulation and peer respect I was expecting. I mean, isn't karma the coin o' the realm, the key to the voting public's heart, the precious bodily fluids of human kindness?

Maybe I'm a lame-o weenie for missing it. Maybe I'm off my game. Maybe they've wised up and caught on.

Naah. It couldn't be my fault.


Maybe I'm not an HTML idiot after all!

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 10 years ago Amazing. In my last journal entry, I was bemoaning the fact that the Euro currency character ampersand-entity didn't seem to work here. Now, all of a sudden, it does. I don't think I changed anything, but right there, in my untouched post, the Euro character sits where I entered my &euro; character.

Does it still work? €

Amazing. On the upside, I can now discuss European money issues with almost the same ease with which I discuss American, Australian, Canadian, or Singapore financial topics.

Now, what about others?

Yen: ¥ <- Nope
Pound: £ <- Nope
Cent: <-Nope

Oh, well, at least the Euro is there. I wonder if non-break space is still gone, or will we be inundated by page-widening trolls? No, actually, I don't want to know.


Maybe I'm just an HTML idiot..

idontgno idontgno writes  |  more than 10 years ago But why does slashcode seem to have problems with ampersand-entity characters? I can't insert a Euro character to save my life.

Witness: €

Shoulda been a Euro character there. I bet there wasn't. Now, some seem to work: < for less than, > for greater than.

Perhaps it's my Mozilla settings? No, it shouldn't matter, because I seem to see Euro signs on other websites OK. I don't get it, and it seems kinda unfair to have to type out "Euros" when talking about European economic issues when I can just hit "$" for American (and Canadian, and Australian, and a few other) money.

Is there a kind soul who can explain which amp-entities work, and why the others don't?

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