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How long ago did you last assemble a computer?

indros13 When work gave me a laptop (391 comments)

For me, it was the same year I got married and got a work-issued Macbook Pro. After that, it never seemed like I had the time to build/use a DIY rig or the need for the marginal power increase.

about 1 month ago

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

indros13 Re:Damn I used to like southwest (928 comments)

You are a coward to use a term like that for anyone. And so are the folks willing to mod this up. Her behavior was ridiculous, but so is yours.

about 2 months ago

Interviews: Ask "The King of Kong" Billy Mitchell About Classic Video Games

indros13 Do You Regret... (122 comments)

If you're not trolling, you may want to try re-phrasing without loaded language, e.g. "Do you ever regret spending so many hours playing video games?" Otherwise, we might ask you why you spend so much time posting to pointless Slashdot Q&A articles...

about 3 months ago

Study Finds Methane Leaks Negate Benefits of Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles

indros13 Re:Manipulative headline (102 comments)

The title may be manipulative, but it's also right. Even with plenty of coal-fired power still on the grid, electric vehicles offer lower greenhouse gas emissions than natural gas vehicles, and the grid continues to get cleaner as more renewable energy is added to it. EVs are a great complement, too, because their batteries allow for energy storage of variable wind and solar. And even the 1st generation EV batteries have enough storage to power 60% of daily vehicle trips in the U.S. From a climate perspective, we have no business trying to increase extraction of fossil fuels. From an infrastructure perspective, we have no business trying to build another fossil fuel fueling network when we already have electricity everywhere to power electric vehicles.

about 7 months ago

Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

indros13 No, because they are not compatible (551 comments)

Wind and solar have variable output, so they need to be partnered with flexible power generation. Nuclear is fundamentally inflexible because you can't quickly ramp up or down electricity output from a nuclear power plant. See this short video for a nice explanation of the incompatibility:

about 8 months ago

Mozart and Bach Handel Subway Station Crime

indros13 It's about the perception of safety (353 comments)

The Lake St. light rail station in Minneapolis is one of the few with an indoor area (an enclosed escalator) and heat. In the winter, the students from nearby schools tend to congregate in the stairwells and escalators, smoking (which is illegal, of course). The music works because it drives them outdoors, helping passengers feel safer because they don't have to push through a crowd of high school students. Of course, whether or not people should feel unsafe because of a crowd of kids smoking is a different issue, but I'd guess most of the adult travelers coming through the station prefer the loud music to the loitering teens.

more than 2 years ago

Firefox 4 Released!

indros13 Complaining about defaults? (554 comments)

I'm rather surprised that so many Slashdot users complain about the default settings in FF4. Yes, they changed the toolbar, statusbar, tab location etc.... But every single one of those things can be changed with in-browser settings or extensions. In my mind, those aren't problems - that's exactly what makes Firefox a great browser. Isn't this a site for nerds?

more than 3 years ago

Firefox 4 Released!

indros13 Re:Does it still have the AwfulBar? (554 comments)

I'll bite - please tell me what is so awful about the Awesome Bar. When used for search, it will quickly identify sites I've already bookmarked/tagged with the terms I'm searching for. It ranks my bookmarks higher than just my history, so I almost always see those historic sites first. Plus, I can use keywords to quickly load pages I use frequently. I no longer waste time sorting my bookmarks into hierarchical folders because that requires a lot of wasted mouse clicks when I can just start typing terms/tags/keywords into the bar. And this is bad because?

more than 3 years ago

Does the GOP Pay Friendly Bloggers?

indros13 Re:Yes...this will end well (759 comments)

ACORN has been exonerated of every single false charge brought against it.

The whole affair was a whirlwind media circus trial orchestrated by conservatives who didn't think poor people had a right to fight back against the banking industry.

Democrats may have their own skeletons, but ACORN isn't one of them.

about 4 years ago

Verizon Makes Offering Service Blocks a Fireable Offense

indros13 Re:Customer Service (370 comments)

This old rule was for the age of competition. There is no real competition in wireless. You can have coverage, customer service, or fair prices. Pick any ONE.

more than 4 years ago

Pedestrian Follows Google Map, Gets Run Over, Sues

indros13 Re:Whatever happened to common sense? (699 comments)

I'm sure the locals and the municipality are saying "Why the !#%!%$! did we build these stupid trails if people aren't going to use them?"

I know this taxpayer is saying, "why can't our idiot local governments publish their routes so Google, Garmin, etc. can include them in their databases?"

This taxpayer is usually also saying "cut my taxes, they are too high." The connection escapes them.

more than 4 years ago

Obama Outlines Bold Space Policy ... But No Moon

indros13 Re:No moon? (455 comments)

Are you kidding? I only clicked on the story in hopes of finding that someone had posted it.

more than 4 years ago

Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys

indros13 Re:Droid (510 comments)

You are correct, of course, on the details, but I would say that you're wrong on the principle. You have two meaningful choices on your presidential ballot (e.g. candidates who can win). It's like getting search choices of Yahoo, Google, and then a bunch of other sites like Altavista.

more than 4 years ago

Verizon Removes Search Choices For BlackBerrys

indros13 Re:Droid (510 comments)

It's good enough for a presidential election...

more than 4 years ago



To Save the Internet We Need To Own The Means Of Distribution

indros13 indros13 writes  |  about 5 months ago

indros13 (531405) writes "Net neutrality took a hit when the FCC gave its blessing to "internet fast lanes" last week and one commentator believes that the solution is simple: public ownership of the hardware.

Owning the means of distribution is a traditional function of local government. We call our roads and bridges and water and sewer pipe networks public infrastructure for a reason. In the 19th century local and state governments concluded that the transportation of people and goods was so essential to a modern economy that the key distribution system must be publicly owned. In the 21st century the transportation of information is equally essential.

Is the internet essential infrastructure? Should local governments step in to preserve equality of access?"
Link to Original Source


Interactive Map Shows When Solar Gets Competitive in U.S.

indros13 indros13 writes  |  about a year and a half ago

indros13 writes "A new interactive map illustrates how much solar photovoltaic power could be installed at prices competitive with retail electricity (without subsidies) over the next decade in all 50 U.S. states. Move the slider to see the impact of falling solar prices, as well as the huge impact of current tax incentives.

Full disclosure: I did the research behind the map and I think it's a very useful tool for planning our energy future."

Link to Original Source

What's your favorite Slashdot story tag (beta)

indros13 indros13 writes  |  about 6 years ago

indros13 (531405) writes "Now that story tagging beta has been live for a while, what is your favorite tag?
  • goodluckwiththat
  • suddenoutbreakofcommonsense
  • haha
  • badsummary
  • correlationisnotcausation
  • thatsnomoon

Women studying science, but not computer science

indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

indros13 writes "Despite a significant increase in the number of women graduation from college and studying the sciences, the portion of female computer science graduates has fallen steadily since the 1980s.

percentages of female bachelor degrees earned in computer science are falling-down to 25 percent in 2004, the latest available figures, from a high of 37 percent in 1984. And all this is occurring at a time when National Science Foundation (NSF) funding to encourage women in the computer sciences — about $20 million annually — has never been higher.
Is it the Revenge of the Nerd stereotype? The prevalence of home computers? What's changed about computer science in the past twenty years to discourage more women from participating?"

Link to Original Source

Study dismisses NH vote technology concerns

indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

indros13 writes "The results of the NH primary sparked vote fraud rumors and well-meaning investigations based on differences in vote tallies between hand-counted and machine-counted wards. Three academics gave the issue a full statistical analysis and find that the differing tallies had nothing to do with systematic hacking or machine bias. Instead, the un-sexy conclusion is that underlying differences in demographics explain the results."
Link to Original Source



Twice a day mod points?

indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 10 years ago Okay. I know that I accept the possibility of getting mod points by being a regular meta moderator (my little contribution back to the Slashdot community). However, I just finished expending mod points about two hours ago and they are back! It's too much work! I don't know if I can handle any more reading at -1!


Buy Nothing Day

indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 10 years ago I was browsing the post on Best Buy and Black Friday prices and inevitably was drawn into one of those perennial debates about the value of Buy Nothing Day. For those unfamiliar with the term, it's an effort by concerned citizens to reduce the bevy of materialism that dominates the holiday ('holy day') season in America by refusing to shop on the "biggest shopping day of the year," the Friday after Thanksgiving.

One user remarked that this was dumb (broke and hippie), because it won't accomplish anything and it will hurt the economy. He went on to describe how materialism has made us rich in America.

I wrote back for two reasons. One, I don't think Buy Nothing Day has anything to do with whacko ideas. I see it as a move in the direction of moderation, juxtaposed with the excesses of 364 other days of consumerism. I also contest the value of supporting the economy. For all the material goods and increased standard of living in America since World War II (the true era of mass consumption), people are actually LESS HAPPY than they were fifty years ago.

In other words, that old saw about money and happiness is true and perhaps it's worth taking a day off from the futile consumerist race to contemplate what in life is really worthwhile.

For more on Buy Nothing Day, check out their homepage at


Liberal media is the free market at work

indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 10 years ago A note to the members of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" on their theory of the "liberal/gay/Jewish media."

Has it ever occurred to you that in the free market of ideas that media represents, the reason there are many "liberal" media outlets is that more people want them? You don't seem to have much of a problem with right-wing dominance of talk radio...

While there is always some bias in news (objectivism is a ridiculously unattainable principle), at least the "liberal" mainstream media supports journalistic principles and codes of ethics. I don't recall Rush agreeing to any such thing.


Defeating spam through capitalism?

indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 10 years ago I'm starting to get frustrated with the recurring Slashdot discussion about spam. Inevitably some folks offer their filtering solutions, others talk about recent political changes empowering users, and there's always a free marketer or two saying that the solution is in the "vote with your dollar" principle (i.e. if you don't buy, then their business will die).

Obviously, there is a sufficiently large market to support spam, because otherwise they'd have to find something else to do to pay the bills. Therefore, individual effort is futile because by resisting the purchase you merely put one person of millions into the "no sale" column.

The alternative is to organize, politically or culturally. Political organizing to pass laws to regulate spam would at least be symbolically successful, even if legislation failed to produce reasonable enforcement. Cultural organizing, such as networking or boycotting might work, but is substantially more difficult, because nonparticipants are the problem and they won't necessarily want to sign up with you.

The part that makes me angry is the general application of the "vote with your dollars" principle that is used to ridicule boycotts, government regulation, and unions all in the same breath. The invisible hand, some ideologues would claim, regulates all aspects of the market. Therefore, you can individually vote with your dollars and successfully ensure living wages, a clean environment, and good healthcare by shopping at stores and buying brands who practice these things well. Ha!

Obviously, the disconnect between public opinion on these issues (vast support for) and the lack of actual success might suggest that the free market needs a tweak. But heaven forbid we use government (damn bureaucrats), consumer organizing (silly and ineffective), or union organizing (messing with the free labor market) to accomplish any of these. No, the market must reign supreme, even if it utterly fails to produce great wealth while protecting things we value. Damn the economic libertarians.


My Webpage

indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 11 years ago For those of you daring enough to access my webpage, there is a fairly significant caveat. I initially created the page in 1998 and it has evolved slowly over time. For the historical record, I've left most of the original comments, opinions, and philosophical ramblings intact. This means that the political views expressed do represent my opinion, but not necessarily my current worldview as it has evolved. In other words, please take it with a grain of salt, feel free to comment, and engage in good philosophical thought or discussion--the point of sharing it in the first place.
"In a democracy, dissent is an act of faith." - J. William Fulbright


indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 11 years ago I added my first foe today for being a rabid 2nd Amendment booster. To educate this poor sap, I have included a little piece I wrote several years ago below:

The two important phrases in this controversial amendment are "well-organized militia" and "common defense." Individuals fulfill neither of these requirements for rights to bear arms, unless they are involved in law enforcement or the armed forces. The Supreme Court, which hasn't ruled on the Second Amendment since 1934, last stated that the individual interpretation is not the correct one.[1] Since the National Rifle Association, its members, and the people it represents are all individual owners of firearms, they have no real constitutional protection for their claims to gun rights and should recognize the use of sensible legislation for the common defense of citizens. Indeed, all other rights guaranteed in the Constitution (read First Amendment) are subject to reasonable regulation; firearms shouldn't be any kind of exception.[2]

[1]Ray Rivera, "Guns Have A Long History In The United States," The Salt Lake Tribune, (8/15/99),
[2]Daniel D. Polsby, "Second reading: treating the Second Amendment as normal constitutional law," (reprinted from 'Reason,' March 1996), Current (June 1996 n383 p3(5))


indros13 indros13 writes  |  more than 11 years ago Excellent! By becoming someone's foe, I finally have made my name at Slashdot. I matter to more than myself, he he he.

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