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Comments

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Is Germany Raising a Generation of Illiterates?

jez9999 Re:Can the writings be read? (431 comments)

The 'purists' who spend their time harping on The True Rules, or replying purely to note that somebody has used 'there' instead of 'their' or the reverse, are an utter waste of time.

Yep, because spending a few minutes learning some basic grammar rules is too damn difficult.

Seriously, in what other domain is ignorance of a subject celebrated as much as with a language's grammar? Can you name even one?

5 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

jez9999 Re:Nothing will happen (429 comments)

For example, on the economic situation, this guy was made the US's top accountant for over a decade, and appointed to posts by both R and D presidents and yet he makes videos that can barely garner 2k views about the situation (since September):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... [youtube.com]

I'd have voted it up if they hadn't disabled comments.

5 days ago
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The GNOME Foundation Is Running Out of Money

jez9999 Re:Gnome go home (689 comments)

Their broke what?

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Start With Linux In the Workplace?

jez9999 Re:The department gives the hint. (451 comments)

XFCE may look superficially like XP but actually has all sorts of differences that make it irritating as hell to use. Just off the top of my head:

- No decent file explorer. Thunar is abysmal compared to XP's.
- Window borders too small, like 1px. Resizing windows is a pain.
- Window maximize behaviour is annoying, because you can still drag the window out of fullscreen after it's been maximized, yet dragging it to the top of the screen doesn't automatically fullscreen the window again.
- The 2 clipboards, one of which is a "mouse buffer", is so unintuative I would classify it as a bug. Linux desperately needs a unified clipboard.
- The start menu (yeah Win8 did away with it but it's bringing it back) is a nightmare. On Windows, its contents can be organized by easily drag/dropping, and generally the programs listing reflects somewhere on the file system. On Linux, no drag/drop, .desktop files all over the place to edit if you want to modify stuff, and the menu editor is broken (like "move up" and "move down" don't work)

Cinnamon or KDE might be better.

about a week ago
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Scientists/Actress Say They Were 'Tricked' Into Geocentric Universe Movie

jez9999 Re:The writers were ineffectual (640 comments)

Actually, I think the low point was the final episode. The idea of the Borg, a massive hive mind responsible for the destruction of hundreds of civilizations, being defeated by one fucking human woman by infecting them with some virus? What complete and utter BS. Nobody in any of the other civilizations had that idea?

about two weeks ago
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Google Chrome 34 Is Out: Responsive Images, Supervised Users

jez9999 Re:Let me know (115 comments)

Then stop buying computer monitors that are designed for viewing Hollywood movies and start buying ones that are designed for general-purpose computing.

about two weeks ago
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Google Chrome 34 Is Out: Responsive Images, Supervised Users

jez9999 Re:Responsive Images (115 comments)

Weird... I don't understand the problem they're describing in that blog post. Surely JS code can detect when viewport size is modified, and change images accordingly.

about two weeks ago
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Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

jez9999 Re:Future generations (230 comments)

Or, future generations will be even lazier than we are and won't think of privacy and true freedom as really desirable things, so they won't mind what we did(n't) do.

about two weeks ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

jez9999 Re:Inherent bias (351 comments)

So you're saying they may have been dying out from our gun bullets before we met them?

about two weeks ago
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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

jez9999 Re:Obama evolved his position, why couldn't Eich? (1111 comments)

I highly doubt Obama evolved his actual attitude on gay marriage. As with most things, we'll never know what Obama really thinks about it. What he evolved was, as you said, his position on it after seeing the way the political wind was blowing. Eich was merely more honest and stuck to his guns instead of pretending he now believed the popular thing.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

jez9999 Re:Personally (641 comments)

Yeah but say you build a new PC and install Windows on that, it's a whole new set of hardware talking to MS's servers for updates. Aren't they going to complain about that?

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

jez9999 Re:Personally (641 comments)

How does that work, though? How does MS know you've removed it from the old drive, or do they just trust you?

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

jez9999 Re:Personally (641 comments)

Yeah but Vista and 8 are such a POS you probably won't want to keep them for 10 years.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

jez9999 Re:Personally (641 comments)

Does that apply if you've already activated on one PC, and want to install it on a new PC? Presumably you have revoke the install on the old PC or something?

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

jez9999 Re:Personally (641 comments)

Except that it isn't the lifetime of a decade, is it? Microsoft will want you to "upgrade" and pay them more in a year's time, like they did with Vista -> 7 -> 8. And as I mentioned elsewhere, changing my PC hardware means I have to go through some stupid reactivation process.

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

jez9999 Re:Personally (641 comments)

Well there's also the issue of having to "activate" Windows now. What happens if I build a new PC? I have to go through some crappy procedure to "transfer" my licence onto the new machine... or maybe MS don't even allow that?

about two weeks ago
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Meet the Diehards Who Refuse To Move On From Windows XP

jez9999 Personally (641 comments)

I stick with XP for one of my desktops because I put my own hardware together (no OS preinstalled), and I don't want to pay horrific sums of money (£135) for a new operating system - Windows 8 is even more expensive to buy a worthwhile edition of. It's behind my free Debian install which acts as a router+firewall. Works for me.

about two weeks ago
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EU Should Switch To ODF Standard, Says MEP

jez9999 Re:MEP = Members of European Parliament (111 comments)

In Britain, MEP is a very widely-understood initialism so I'm not really finding this joke funny. :-) You Yanks use acronyms all the time anyway, don'tcha?

about two weeks ago
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To Reduce the Health Risk of Barbecuing Meat, Just Add Beer

jez9999 Re:Can I just drink it? (179 comments)

No, but you can pump it up your colon with a garden hose...

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: Is HTTPS snooping becoming more acceptable?

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  about 2 years ago

jez9999 writes "I recently worked for a relatively large company that imposed so-called transparent HTTPS proxying on their network. In practice, what this means is that they allow you to use HTTPS through their network, but it must be proxied through their server and their server must be trusted as a root CA. They were using the Cisco IronPort device to do this. The "transparency" seems to come from the fact that they tend to install their root CA into Internet Explorer's certificate store, so IE won't actually warn you that your HTTPS traffic may be being snooped on (nor will any other browser that uses IE's cert store, like Chrome). Is this a reasonable policy? Is it worth leaving a job over? Should it even be legal? It seems to me rather mad to go to huge effort to create a secure channel of communication for important data like online banking, transactions, and passwords, and then to just effectively hand over the keys to your employer. Or am I overreacting?"
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Ask Slashdot: Transparent HTTPS proxying - acceptable or abominable?

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  about 2 years ago

jez9999 writes "I recently worked for a relatively large company that imposed so-called transparent HTTPS proxying on their network. In practice, what this means is that they allow you to use HTTPS through their network, but it must be proxied through their server and their server must be trusted as a root CA. They were using the Cisco IronPort device to do this. The "transparency" seems to come from the fact that they tend to install their root CA into Internet Explorer's certificate store, so IE won't actually warn you that your HTTPS traffic may be being snooped on (nor will any other browser that uses IE's cert store, like Chrome). Is this a reasonable policy? Is it worth leaving a job over? Should it even be legal? It seems to me rather mad to go to huge effort to create a secure channel of communication for important data like online banking, transactions, and passwords, and then to just effectively hand over the keys to your employer. Or am I overreacting?"
Link to Original Source
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The ISP that pledges to put your privacy first

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  about 2 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "Nicholas Merrill is planning to revolutionize online privacy by launching a non-profit ISP that would do everything it could to protect users' privacy via mobile connections, and landline connections from $20 a month.

The ISP would try to challenge any orders from the government for data disclosure that were questionable in court; that is, if they even have the capability to release the private information requested. "The idea that we are working on is to not be capable of complying" with requests from the FBI for stored e-mail and similar demands, Merrill says."

Link to Original Source
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Home automation comes one step closer

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "When Bill Gates unveiled his $100m networked mansion in the mid-90s, it barely seemed believable that mere plebs of more moderate financial standing might too one day use computers to adjust the ambient temperature of their living rooms and queue Chris Rea on the Jacuzzi stereo when they were driving home from the golf course. We still can't. But we are getting very close, thanks to technology from a company called Intamac, says one Inquirer article."
Link to Original Source
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Scientists show off 'acoustic cloak' blueprint

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "A Spanish team of scientists have unveiled designs for an 'acoustic cloak'. The technology, outlined in the New Journal of Physics, could be used to build sound-proof homes, advanced concert halls or stealth warships.

The cloak uses so-called "sonic crystals". These artificial composites — also known as "meta-materials" — can be engineered to produce specific acoustical effects.

Noisy neighbours could be a thing of the past, if you have enough money to afford this!"
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Giant trees proposed to clear excess CO2

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "Wallace Broecker, the scientist who coined the term "global warming" in the 1970s, has proposed a radical solution to the problem of climate change. He advocated millions of "carbon scrubbers" — giant artificial trees to pull CO2 from the air. He did, however, admit that such a project faced an uphill struggle, as the political will to implement it would likely be lacking."
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UK considers harsh punishment of music downloads

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "The UK government is considering banning people who they detect illegally downloading copyrighted music and movies from using the internet. They would require ISPs to try and detect, and then report, such activity to them.

The system would operate under a 'three strikes' rule, where users are twice warned, and then banned on the third infringement, from accessing the internet."
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UK Professor argues for teaching of creationism

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "Head of science at London's Institute of Education Professor Michael Reiss argues that there is an educational value in comparing creationist ideas with scientific theories like Darwin's theory of evolution because they demonstrate how science, unlike religious beliefs, can be tested. He said: "The number of Muslim students has grown considerably in the last 10 to 20 years and a higher proportion of Muslim families do not accept evolutionary theory compared with Christian families. "That's one reason why it's more of an issue in [UK] schools." "By not dismissing their beliefs, we can ensure that these students learn what evolutionary theory really says — and give everyone the understanding to respect the views of others," he added."
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UK Lords committee blasts 'e-crime'

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "A House of Lords report says that the government must do more to protect internet users from the threat of 'e-crime'.

The report claims that the internet is now "the playground of criminals", and that UK internet users are now more scared of internet crime than burglary. It suggests a wide range of security measures that the government should take to increase the confidence of internet users, including making 'software firms' (BBC Radio 5 Live used the term 'ISPs') compensate users for 'e-fraud'."

Link to Original Source
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Bible-based actionfigures set to hit US toy market

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

jez9999 (618189) writes "From the middle of August, Wal-Mart, the biggest toy retailer in the US, will for the first time stock a full line of faith-based toys. The dolls will go under the brand name, 'Tales of Glory'. The company behind the dolls, One2believe, hope that such figures as Goliath and Samson will help to make their dolls competetive in the notoriously difficult-to-crack US toy market."
Link to Original Source
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jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jez9999 writes "BBC News reports that the [UK] government has announced plans to make the possession of downloaded violent porn images punishable by three years in prison. It follows a campaign by Berkshire woman Liz Longhurst whose daughter Jane, a Brighton schoolteacher, was killed by Graham Coutts. It's already an offence in the UK to publish or distribute such material. Although violent porn will not appeal to many, nevertheless it is between consenting adults."

Journals

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This is how I've felt about UX 'design' for ages now.

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  about a year ago

I just had to highlight this post I came across; it pretty much pretty hit the nail on the head with what pisses me off about the whole UX thing:

If I have to guess what to do, the GUI lost its purpose. May as well just go back to DOS

The purpose of the GUI is to keep UX designers employed. The year 24-bit color becomes standard, XP's Fisher-price look is "needed" to make that boring and stodgy NT/2K look go away. The year 3d graphics appears on commodity hardware, Aero is "needed" to make that "childish" XP look go away. The year touchscreens come out, Metro is "needed" to make that "distracting" 3D glossy look go away.

Same sorta deal with Firefox - a few years ago, a browser with lots of options and user control was a good thing. Now it's "distracting" and even the status bar and the name of the communications protocol in the title bar needs to go away to make it "clean".

It's not UX design, it's fashion design. Bunch of artistes wanking away on Photoshop trying to out-trendify each other. It's an utter waste of computing resources, and I'm sick of it.

Exactly. Everyone involved in app development needs to read this and decide whether they want to hire ANYONE who is a self-professed "UX person".

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Why corporations act in evil ways

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I often wonder why companies, even ones that are already rich, continue to do evil things such as help out the Chinese government with their suppression of their own people. The answer is that, no matter how rich a company/corporation currently is, they always want more money. It's like food to them; if they don't keep getting more in, the shareholders will punish the company's board; it feels, to them, like the company is 'starving'. It's no good for them to just make one big ton of money (Microsoft) and be happy with that - they must keep on getting more, always, for eternity. Food to humans is a good analogy. So, just as humans have to eat to survive, they companies/corporations have to eat (money) to survive, and try to survive they will. They'll even keep on eating if they're fat (have loads of money alredy), just like humans... unfortunately, companies don't even have the desire to slim again, like humans often do. To a company, getting as fat as possible is, and always will be, the ultimate goal - the point of its existance. This explains their neverending lust for profit, despite any consequences.

"To a person, animal flesh is food (vegetarians excepted). To a corporation, money is food, and like people, a corporation will do just about anything to ensure a consistent supply of food (money)."

This excellent summing up was written by user 'mcrbids' - thanks!

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My advice to programmers

jez9999 jez9999 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

If there is one thing I would recommend to all newbie or learning programmers, it's this: before you delve into learning the details of a language or API or whatever, read a quick tutorial or overview first. If I had realised this a long time ago, I would've saved myself a lot of time.

There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, you may not like the language that you've decided to learn. Reading a short tutorial about it will let you see quickly whether you want to go further into investigating the language or not.
Secondly, learning a language by reading something like a reference book is a really good way to make you hate the language. Or get bored too quickly to learn it properly, and give up.
Thirdly, it's not really *necessary* to know *everything* about a language before you start to program in it. I'm sure there are people out there who would disagree with me on that, but as long as you know the fundamentals of a language, I think it's better to start going and learn as you create your first few projects, than to read through a detailed book that will probably be a very dry read if you aren't doing much coding using the stuff you're reading about.

My personal experience has taught me this. Maybe it's just my way of learning, I don't know, but I have had a lot more success learning stuff through first reading short and concise tutorials such as 'Learning Perl' (Schwartz & Christiansen) and 'theForger's Win32 API tutorial' (theForger :-) ), and have more quickly picked up and become proficient in the languages (or whatever) I have used this technique with, than the ones where I have started out trying to learn *everything* about the subject before I used it; for example, I am unable to read through from start to finish and appreciate a book such as, say, 'The C Programming Language' (Kernighan & Ritchie) or 'Programming Windows' (Petzold), yet I have both books sitting on my windowsill. Why?

Well, partly because I accidentally bought several such books with the intention of reading through them non-stop, and then realised partway through that I was getting so bored I wasn't really learning anything. And partly because what I now use them for is *reference* books.

It may sound obvious, but it's quite easy to 'bite off more than you can chew' and try to learn too much before you start with a language or API or whatever. Get into the habit of starting with short and concise tutorials, and reading into certain aspects that you need to know in a more detailed way, when you need to know them. Had I had this advice available to me when I first started to learn programming, I would have saved myself a lot of time and boredom. :-)

I wish all new/learning programmers could be given this advice somehow when they start to learn something new. I'd like to stop others making the same mistakes that I did. I don't often say a lot of long-winded preachy stuff, but this is one of the few things that I've really learnt to be useful, and thought that sharing it would be beneficial to all programmers. So please, if you know any struggling new programmers, no matter what language (or whatever) they're learning, try giving them the gist of this advice! It may well help.

Plus, when recommending books, make two distinct categories of books. Tutorials, and reference books. It's pretty much impossible to have something that is both, and I've frequently had inappropriate reference books recommended to me that haven't done much other than waste my time/money, as they were FAR too detailed when I knew too little about the given subject - it's these kind of recommendations that make me think that this advice, though it may seem obvious, needs to be more widely accepted and adopted. Advanced programmers tend to recommend stuff that would now be appropriate for them to read; not necessarily what would be appropriate for someone new to the subject, or indeed them - when they were new to the subject - to read.

Comments are welcome.

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