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Comments

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Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

jdavidb Re:No Advertising does not power the Internet. (370 comments)

Notice that the guy who said it is an advertising guy. That's his whole worldview. That's the way he thinks it is and the way he thinks it should be. Meanwhile for the rest of us, we have lots of alternatives. Paid sites, community-supported sites, ad-blocked sites, sites run by people who love what they are running a site about.

Basically this is a little advertiser wanting us to support clubbing a big advertiser, Google. He'd like us to get mad at his competition. What he wouldn't like is for us to start noticing just how much what he is advocating is in his self-interest.

I recommend we all switch to ad-block and screw them all. If some sites die or have to switch funding models, works great for me.

2 days ago
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Privacy Oversight Board Gives NSA Surveillance a Pass

jdavidb Realistic (170 comments)

You don't have to be "cynical" to expect the government to act in the government's own best interest. The idea that one piece of government will keep another piece in check rather than colluding together to expand power is an unrealistic pipe dream. Honestly we've had over two hundred years of real world experimental evidence demonstrating that checks and balances DON'T WORK. They never did, and never will. The only realistic check on government power is secession.

about three weeks ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

jdavidb Re:What's wrong with luxury? (276 comments)

They never want me. They find out I won't enforce the law as written if I find it to be immoral, and that's that.

Hopefully eventually they will be unable to find enough jurors who don't feel like me in the jury pool! But I guess I'm feeling over-optimistic today.

about a month ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

jdavidb Re:What's wrong with luxury? (276 comments)

Because one of the government's justifications in the past has been that it's not really that much of a hardship

True. And I used to buy that. :( I hardly ever fly, and I used to actually think I should have a say in what other people do in life.

judges tend to try to avoid flat out saying "my predecessors and colleagues were idiots and their rulings were bullshit."

Sounds like a job for a jury! :)

about a month ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

jdavidb What's wrong with luxury? (276 comments)

The court concludes international travel is not a mere convenience or luxury in this modern world.

What does that have to do with it? Even if it were a mere convenience or luxury, the point of government is to secure the right to liberty. That includes the liberty to enjoy some things that some people might regard as a luxury (a subjective judgment if I ever heard one), so long as I am not doing so at the expense of somebody else's right to life, liberty, or property.

about a month ago
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San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

jdavidb Re:They hate our freedom (404 comments)

It's their land, their parking spots

No, it isn't. Everything they have was acquired through theft and coercion.

about a month ago
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San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

jdavidb Re:They hate our freedom (404 comments)

"People have the freedom to do as they want." Your opinion will change when you grow up.

I'm 36 and my opinion on this has been stable for 8 years. Hopefully you will engage in less name calling when you grow up.

about a month ago
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San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

jdavidb Re:They hate our freedom (404 comments)

This leads to less efficient use of space due to lingering, which is what the city wants to avoid.

Actually it leads to more efficient use of space through price rationing.

which is what the city wants to avoid

Who cares what the city government wants to avoid? They have no more right to enforce their will than any of the rest of us.

about a month ago
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San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

jdavidb Pot, kettle (404 comments)

But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit

On the other hand, it's okay when we do it!

about a month ago
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Bitcoin Security Endangered By Powerful Mining Pool

jdavidb Re:What happens if (281 comments)

There are a whole host of reasons why what you are saying is impossible. First off, no matter how much CPU power you accumulated, you wouldn't be able to rival the hashes per second being put out by the custom hardware. If you rooted and botnetted every CPU on earth you would still only be a fraction of the hashes per second of the Bitcoin network. CPUs for Bitcoin mining were obsoleted by GPUs long ago, and both CPUs and GPUs are now way-obsoleted by ASIC.

Also, even if you were able to control a majority of the hash power on the Bitcoin network, you would still not be able to spend somebody else's Bitcoin. To do that you would have to crack the private key for the account containing the Bitcoin. Doing that is a totally different math problem from what Bitcoin mining hardware is doing, and there are a lot of visuals out there illustrating that it would likely take longer than the projected life of the universe to crack these keys using currently available methods. If you had a majority of hashpower on the network, you could alter the blockchain, which is the ledger showing in what order transactions occurred. This would allow you to double-spend your own Bitcoin and cheat somebody, but would not allow you to spend somebody else's.

about a month ago
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Expedia To Accept Bitcoin

jdavidb Re:MtGox is not Bitcoin (87 comments)

Bitcoin stories shouldn't mention MtGox any more than dollar stories should mention Enron.

about a month ago
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Expedia To Accept Bitcoin

jdavidb MtGox is not Bitcoin (87 comments)

With the debacle of Mt. GoX, Bitcoin's future was looking a little murky

Not to anyone who actually follows Bitcoin. MtGox was old news in 2013, a year before it actually failed. Bit coin's success was never based on MtGox - it was the other way around. And the failure of a fraudulent company in the Bitcoin space made Bitcoin stronger, not weaker.

Tired of hearing this illogical assertion repeated.

about a month ago
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New OpenSSL Man-in-the-Middle Flaw Affects All Clients

jdavidb Re:This is awesome (217 comments)

I suspect that in the last year since the Snowden revelations a lot more eyes have suddenly gotten focused on these packages. People are going to be looking for real security and wanting to make sure there are no secret backdoors, intentional or otherwise, in the code they depend on.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft Won't Bring Back the Start Menu Until 2015

jdavidb Re:flame away, but... (516 comments)

I bought my first Windows 8 machine in January, not by choice. The new app system confused me to death, and still does. I had no idea what the name for it was until your post. I will be forever grateful to you for providing the name "metro app" so that I can google what in the world this is and learn what I can do about it.

I tolerate Windows 8 about as well as its two predecessors. The first thing I do on a new Windows machine is install Firefox and Cygwin, and since I spend most of my time in those two environments I usually don't care very much what OS I am on. With Windows 8 the one exception has been the new metro-ized Windows Media Player, which I had to promptly replace with VLC player.

The printed documentation that came with my Windows 8 box was useless about all this new stuff. It seemed to think the first thing I would want to know was how to find something called "Windows charms." Frankly that sounded awfully girly to me so I wasn't much interested, but they seemed so proud of it I went to check it out. I wasn't much impressed, and I'm not sure why they thought that should be question #1 on the cards they printed and stuffed in the box.

Many thanks for just those two words!

about a month and a half ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

jdavidb Re:Let's be scientific (772 comments)

If you are inclined to let your religious bias overrule observed evidence then you should avoid scientific work on principle

Yet this study doesn't seem to support that. It would be interesting to see a similar study done that draws a distinction based on the exact reason for rejecting the theory of evolution.

about 2 months ago
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Belief In Evolution Doesn't Measure Science Literacy

jdavidb Let's be scientific (772 comments)

I've been saying for years that not accepting the theory of evolution doesn't mean a person can't perform scientific work. Now there's some scientific evidence to back it up. I wonder if people will be scientific about this now and drop the idea that those who do not accept the theory of evolution are somehow hindering scientific progress.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

jdavidb Light on details (218 comments)

I read the entire article and still don't know what Amazon wants. Apparently they just like to be mean, according to the author.

about 2 months ago
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Amazon Escalates Its Battle Against Publishers

jdavidb Muscle-flexing (218 comments)

Way to go injecting politics into the discussion. FTFA:

âoeWhat we are seeing is a classic case of muscle-flexing,â said Andrew Rhomberg, founder of Jellybooks, an e-book discovery site. âoeKind of like Vladimir Putin mobilizing his troops along the Ukrainian border.â

The other opinion of that is that Crimea has the right to secede and receive help from Putin or anybody they please. Thank you for making it harder for me to listen to you objectively by dropping a political dispute into this.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Prince of Sealand dies

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  about 2 years ago

jdavidb (449077) writes "46 years ago, occupying an abandoned WWII platform off the coast of Britain, Paddy Roy Bates declared independence, naming himself Prince of the Principality of Sealand. Today, Bates has passed away at 91.

Long time Slashdot readers will remember Sealand as the site of HavenCo, an unsuccessful data warehousing company that tried to operate from Sealand outside the reach of larger nations' legal structures. They may also remember plans that the Pirate Bay had at one time to buy Sealand.

Bates had moved to a care home a few years ago, naming his son Michael Regent of Sealand."

Link to Original Source
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jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jdavidb writes "Eric Faden of Stanford University's Fair Use Project "stole" thousands of tiny clips from dozens of Disney films to create an educational film explaining copyright and fair use. Right out of the mouths of characters from Disney, the chief advocate behind the most recent ex post facto extension of copyright, you can learn how copyright terms have been extended, how important it is for works to pass into the public domain in something resembling a reasonable period of time, and what exceptions are granted by the principle of fair use."
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jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jdavidb writes "Paul Graham writes today on what hackers should know about investors if they want to build a company that will attract funding.

Because most investors are a different species of people from founders, it's hard to know what they're thinking. If you're a hacker, the last time you had to deal with these guys was in high school. Maybe in college you walked past their fraternity on your way to the lab. But don't underestimate them. They're as expert in their world as you are in yours. What they're good at is reading people, and making deals work to their advantage. Think twice before you try to beat them at that.


If you're a hacker, here's a thought experiment you can run to understand why there are basically no hacker VCs: How would you like a job where you never got to make anything, but instead spent all your time listening to other people pitch (mostly terrible) projects, deciding whether to fund them, and sitting on their boards if you did? That would not be fun for most hackers. Hackers like to make things. This would be like being an administrator.


Investors always say what they really care about is the team. Actually what they care most about is your traffic, then what other investors think, then the team.
"

Journals

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Evolution: monopolistically integrated

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  about 6 years ago

Today I'm removing evolution from my Fedora 8 system, because it ate my mail this morning, and I'm switching to Thunderbird.

Remember how livid the world was because Microsoft claimed that Internet Explorer was integrated into the OS and could not be removed, even if you were to remove the icon from the desktop? Well, pot, meet kettle: if I attempt to remove the package evolution-data-server from my system, it attempts to take along with it a whopping 32 other packages, including pidgin (the IM client formerly known as gaim) and gnome itself in the form of crucial pieces of gnome such as gnome-panel and gnome-applets.

Gnome and evolution should immediately be sued and brought to justice for their evil monopolistic practices.

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Those backward Mormons

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

More proof that you shouldn't believe everything you read:

Austin Children's Shelter workers share their experiences [with the FLDS mothers and children]. "We had read that they had a fear of technology, so we took down our computer lab, and the first night one of the mothers pulled out her iPod and asked where she could dock it," VanOsselar said. "It surprised us because we didn't expect them to be so technology savvy," she said.

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Nearlyfreespeech.net discounts large bandwidth usage

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I've mentioned before my preferred hosting provider is http://www.nearlyfreespeech.net/, which by your usage, allowing small traffic websites to exist for basically less than a dollar a year. Now NFS has introduced a plan for higher-usage websites: previously, usage was $1 per Gigabyte of bandwidth used. This is still true for your first gigabyte. However, starting immediately upon completion of one gigabyte, the price starts going down logarithmically. A reloadable page displays in real time your changing bytes-per-penny pricing.

For almost all of my purposes, NFS has been suitable. I could pay a lot more for certain things, but I haven't found it to be worth it at this point in time. I'd rather continue to run my websites for the price of rifling through my couch cushions for spare change.

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Why politics is bitter conflict

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

According to Walter Williams, it's obvious: it's because we're making decisions for everybody instead of letting people be free. Thus, when one's preferences win out, it's necessarily at the expense of someone else who doesn't share those preferences. Of course they fight, bitterly.

The solution is to get government out of these decisions. Eliminate the political machinery that has the power to control these things, and then people will quit fighting for control of it.

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Do Nuclear Weapons Deter?

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Do Nuclear Weapons Deter?

The first part of this article is very interesting, as he proposes a chain of logic that he asserts proves that ownership of nuclear weapons is not actually a deterrent to attacks by enemies. I'm not quite able to wrap my head around the logic, yet, and I'm not sure I agree. But it's an interesting thought, and I think I'll be revisiting it.

Then he gets to the point where he mentions "market anarchism." After that point the reasoning gets really weird, and I'm saying that as a market anarchist, myself. I'm sure it's even weirder to those who aren't. :) Some leftist pacifists might agree with and like his conclusions, though.

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Slashdot 10 Hot Comments feed

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I've had the Slashdot 10 hot comments slashbox on my page since the year I started using Slashdot (wow; that would be 2001, I think). Now I've built an RSS feed to pull links to the comments into Google reader.

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"Our" infrastructure is in good shape

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I really liked this quote:

The next time I cross a concrete bridge (as they all are in Alabama), I'll feel better than I once did: A bridge collapsed somewhere, and it was such a startling event that everyone is covering it endlessly. The incorrect message everyone else is getting is that the nation's infrastructure is crumbling.

I had a vague feeling along those lines when I first heard this story (and being disconnected from most major media I heard the story nearly 24 hours late and have only heard about one update a day since then), but I couldn't elucidate it.

Source: http://www.mises.org/story/2668

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ad blocking software detected

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

This page just told me "This page cannot be displayed because ad blocking software has been detected." Cute. I guess I just won't bother reading, then.

Or I'll turn off Javascript, or I'll use wget and/or lynx.

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Biological research, without evolution

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  more than 6 years ago

As we all learned in this discussion, no biological research can take place without accepting evolution.

Unless you count this family, who have beliefs fairly similar to mine.

One counterexample provided. One false premise refuted.

Of course, the truth is that the other side wasn't using the same definition of "evolution" which was explicitly verbally provided at the beginning of the discussion.

(And, yeah, I'm not classing running somebody's distributed computing client as full-blown "research." I'm just saying it's clear you don't have to accept evolutionary origins in order to understand the progress of biological science.

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Feeds updated

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  about 7 years ago

The slashdot comment feeds I provide (also here) have been updated to use https URLs. For subscribers, this means they will get to slashdot through https. Non-subscribers should be transparently redirected to plain old http, at least if my one test through IE where I wasn't logged in is any indication.

Meanwhile, it looks like this means the most recent 24 posts will go through each feed again, as they now have different URLs and thus appear to be new items. Hiccup! :)

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7-7-7

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  about 7 years ago

Wow: 7-7-7 already. Seems like just a year ago it was 6-6-6.

Of course, 07-07-07 is really 2007-07-07, so there's no actual significance to it, but at least all the people who don't know the real way to write dates will have one day when they won't confuse each other by writing them different ways.

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Creationism does not imply 100% irrationality

jdavidb jdavidb writes  |  about 7 years ago

The idea that people "need" to be taught evolutionary origins is nothing but petty bigotry.

The rationale for this mind-control and enslavement is the idea that people who believe in creationism are irrational and therefore incapable of making a positive contribution to the great "we" -- society. I note that this assumes two things: that creationism is irrational (I'll grant that many folks think this is proved, not assumed), and that there is some objective standard of how human lives should be spent contributing to society, some standard which says that a life spent one way is "right" while another way is "wrong," measuring according to some metric that I can't fathom about what's "best" for "all" (for sufficient values of "all" that actually, as far as I can see, actually translate to "some").

So let me give you those two points for the moment. I'm going to tentatively agree that creationism is irrational and that it is important to make sure that everyone is rational so that they can "contribute" to "society" or whatever the heck it is you hope to achieve out of having everyone aware of evolution.

Here's what you're missing: nobody is 100% rational, 100% of the time, on 100% of issues. It's not necessary for everybody to understand every piece of truth in order to function productively.

A lot of smoke is blown about how if kids aren't taught evolution they won't be able to be scientifically productive. Horse manure. It ain't so. You can have wrong ideas about what happened 7000 years ago, or 4.5 billion years ago, and still think quite rationally and scientifically about other things.

There's not a lick of evidence provided for the idea that kids need to be taught evolution in order to grow up capable of making a positive contribution to their society or their country. It's something we're just supposed to accept because men of bigoted faith like Richard Dawkins say so. And I'm not willing to see people enslaved (have their freedom taken away in the form of being forced to submit to compulsory reeducation of ideas their parents quite legally believed) just because Richard Dawkins is a bigot.

When I was in first grade my teachers encouraged other students to make fun of me and shame me because I couldn't crayon within the lines of coloring pages. This was cruel abuse, but I realize now it's symptomatic. School is systematically teaching the values we vote on, and today it's created a society that ridicules and shames people of faith, with the bigoted idea that they are 100% irrational.

Speaking of which, this is why I think a school system that is run by democracy is bound to failure. We could vote to teach everyone evolution, but we could just as well vote to teach them the Flying Spaghetti Monster. We could vote to teach everyone that homosexuality is acceptable, or we could vote to teach that such people should be stoned. If you really want your kids to be educated according to the consensus of scientists, then the absolute last thing that you should want is to have them in an educational institution run by a democracy.

(This is also a large part of why I won't vote. Remember when you're casting your vote next year in November about who is going to be my tyrant and king for the next four years and overrule the free choices of me and my children -- that I will not be making any such choice for you. I would never treat you that way.)

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