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Comments

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SETI Institute Is Looking For a Few Good Algorithms

kalidasa Re:According to Claude Shannon... (98 comments)

We're far enough away from any likely candidate systems that we would only pick up very high power omni-directional signals - in other words, intentional beacons. Such a beacon is unlikely to be highly encoded (though there might be an associated signal that *is* highly encoded, and to which there is a pointer in the beacon signal). In other words, we don't have to worry too much about the Kolmogorov complexity of extra-terrestrial signals, because we won't be "overhearing" anything.

about 4 years ago
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Google PAC-MAN Cost 4.8M Person-Hours

kalidasa Re:cost calculation? (332 comments)

(1.3*R)C(2.0*R), where C = O(25*h)

more than 4 years ago
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US Justice Dept. Investigates IT Hiring Practices

kalidasa Re:Who does this apply to? (223 comments)

You are assuming that people can't keep up with change. Sounds like you've never worked with top notch people. A truly talented IT guy can keep up with innovations well into his 70s - if he pushes himself (or herself).

more than 4 years ago
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Adobe Evangelist Lashes Out Over Apple's "Original Language" Policy

kalidasa Re:Surprised? I'm not.. (789 comments)

I would say the issues go back to Adobe's refusal to license postscript as a display language for the OS X display rendering engine and their original refusal to write a version of Premiere for OS X (which lead to the birth of Final Cut).

more than 4 years ago
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Chicago Debates Merits of ShotSpotter Technology

kalidasa Re:Listen to a 3rd party (385 comments)

Unlike 90% of Boston (the relatively new Back Bay is the exception, as that was built on 19th century fill), Chicago is on a grid.

more than 4 years ago
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Insomniacs, the Phantoms of the Internet

kalidasa Re:Insomniacs? WTF idiot journalist (234 comments)

Insomniacs can sleep. We just take much longer to get to sleep and wake at the drop of a hat, and so never get the amount of sleep we need. Oh, and I live in EST

more than 4 years ago
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Privacy With a 4096 Bit RSA Key — Offline, On Paper

kalidasa Re:How is this any more secure (232 comments)

There's a book that's 2200 years old. I don't mean the story (or in this case, poem) is 2200 years old, I mean the *piece of paper* (or in this case, papyrus) on which someone copied the (2400 year-old) poem is 2200 years old. In the right conditions, archival quality paper will last a *lot* longer than any electronic medium.

more than 4 years ago
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Write Bits Directly Onto a Hard Drive Platter?

kalidasa Re:DRM? (578 comments)

I think he's writing a rootkit for a grad school project. Notice the emphasis in "open source."

more than 4 years ago
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Court Rules Photo of Memorial Violates Copyright

kalidasa Re:Did MY Tax Dollars Pay for This? (426 comments)

A cursory search finds that Hyundai donated $1M to the project, so you might not want to make that assumption. The CoE would I imagine have to be involved in any project on the Mall

more than 3 years ago
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Calendar Bug Disables Older PlayStation 3 Models

kalidasa Since when is a year = 2 mod 4 EVER a leap year? (342 comments)

Guys, it's really not that hard:
GregYear <- (appropriate year for start of Gregorian era in locale)

IF (month = 2 AND year MOD 4 = 0 AND (year < GregYear OR year MOD 100 > 0 OR year MOD 400 = 0))
{MaxDayForMonth <- 29}
ELSE IF (month = 2)
{MaxDayForMonth <- 28}
ELSE IF (month IN (4,6,9,11))
{MaxDayForMonth <- 30}
ELSE
{MaxDayForMonth <- 31}

(pseudocode style adapted for Slashcode)

more than 3 years ago
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Court Rules Photo of Memorial Violates Copyright

kalidasa Re:Something from Nothing (426 comments)

I certainly hope you don't characterize "real estate" as "real property." The owner of real estate owns something just as abstract as the owner of Intellectual Property does - the right to use and occupy land. Ultimately, all property is abstract: if you hand me a five dollar bill to look at, does it become my property because it is in my possession, or does it remain your property?

more than 4 years ago
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Court Rules Photo of Memorial Violates Copyright

kalidasa Re:Did MY Tax Dollars Pay for This? (426 comments)

I believe such monuments are usually funded by subscription by private organizations; and I find evidence that such is the case for this Memorial. So, NO, your tax dollars did not pay for this, though it is on public land; I do not know if the Federal government maintains the site or a private organization does so (as is the case with e.g. Monticello).

more than 4 years ago
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After Learning Java Syntax, What Next?

kalidasa Data Structures, Algorithms, and Design Patterns (293 comments)

Savitch's book is superb as a textbook. You won't find many other books that are that good. The two things I'd suggest learning about are data structures/algorithms and design patterns. For the former, there are a lot of text books, but the good ones are advanced and expensive (for instance, Cormen, Leiserson & Rivest, *Introduction to Algorithms*), and the inexpensive ones are poorly written. You might try the O'Reilly book "Algorithms in a Nutshell*. For the latter, there are a number of books - a good intro book is *Head First Design Patterns*; the book of books is the so-called Gang of Four book that introduced the idea, *Design Patterns* by Gamma, Helm, Johnson, and Vlissides.

more than 4 years ago
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Fingerprint Requirement For a Work-Study Job?

kalidasa Re:I recommend... (578 comments)

He's probably afraid they lifted his prints from the doorknob to that apt he burgled in high school to get some money to buy weed.

more than 4 years ago
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Iran Suspends Google's Email Service

kalidasa Re:UAE (436 comments)

The UAE actually is a collection of small sovereign states who have banded together, but are not unified under a single government ... Sort of like pre-1789 USA.

more than 4 years ago
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Iran Suspends Google's Email Service

kalidasa Re:Regime Change Now (436 comments)

Yes, but it needs to happen without our "help." you can't force democracy down someone's throat at the point of a gun (Germany and Japan are exceptions, as the occupations of those countries were justified in the minds of their citizens by the nature of the conflict). Read @oxfordgirl on Twitter to get some idea of how pro-Western, secularist Iranian Greens feel about our "help."

more than 4 years ago
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Hackers Attack AU Websites To Protest Censorship

kalidasa Re:Singapore proxies (334 comments)

I think he's read Cryptonomicon one too many times.

more than 4 years ago
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Google's Experimental Fiber Network

kalidasa Re:No article, just a blog post (363 comments)

I would imagine that Google will also deploy gigabit worthy applications.

more than 4 years ago
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2010 AL30, Asteroid Or Space Junk, To Pay a Close Visit

kalidasa Re:Not an asteroid? (136 comments)

Or, in somewhat more technical terms, the fact that they suspect it's manmade suggests it has a very high albedo, which would make it much easier to find.

more than 4 years ago

Submissions

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Were you in contact with any radioactivity today?

kalidasa kalidasa writes  |  more than 5 years ago

kalidasa (577403) writes "A retired police officer on his way home from a PET scan was pulled over by the New Hampshire State Police and asked this question: "Were you in contact with any radioactivity today?" The story (from the Boston Globe) continues:

"I told him I was surprised his equipment could detect the radioactivity in my body," Rosenthal said. But Burke didn't take Rosenthal's word for it. He asked him to prove it. "I was very lucky that I had the documents with me from the hospital," he said. "After that, he was satisfied and sent me on my way."

"

Link to Original Source

Journals

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Grassroots gone wrong: Spamming for Ron Paul

kalidasa kalidasa writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Some spammer has been sending out spam supporting Ron Paul. I've reproduced enough of the headers to show the source of the spam, and enough of the content to make it clear that the pro-Ron Paul message isn't just a hash buster, but the actual content of the spam. I'll assume that this is not part of the Ron Paul strategy, but simply a case of grassroots gone wrong, but I would think the Ron Paul committee would want to stomp this now.

Received: from 221.223.0.220 (localhost [127.0.0.1])
        by barracuda.[redacted].com (Spam Firewall) with ESMTP id [redacted]
        for ; Mon, 29 Oct 2007 07:27:38 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from 221.223.0.220 ([221.223.0.220]) by barracuda.[redacted].com with ESMTP id [redacted] for ; Mon, 29 Oct 2007 07:27:38 -0400 (EDT)
Received: from [221.223.0.220] by ns3.mot.com; Mon, 29 Oct 2007 11:27:33 +0000
From: "garfinkel chung-pi"
X-ASG-Orig-Subj: 3500 Americans Died In Iraq Stop The War! [Random String redacted]
Date: Mon, 29 Oct 2007 09:40:11 +0000
X-Mailer: Microsoft Outlook Express 6.00.3790.2663

        0.80 RCVD_IN_PBL RBL: Received via a relay in Spamhaus PBL
                                                              [221.223.0.220 listed in zen.spamhaus.org]

Hello Scott,

Ron Paul is for the people, unless you want your children to
have human implant RFID chips, a National ID card and create
a North American Union and see an economic collapse far worse
than the great depression. Vote for Ron Paul he speaks the
truth and the media and government is afraid of him.

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Parent Lies? [resolved]

kalidasa kalidasa writes  |  more than 9 years ago

The fellow who accused me of lying retracted it; he seemed rather reasonable after all.

So, I made this post in a discussion about a company, Omega Technologies, which is providing support services for overseas military voting and whose CEO is apparently (according to a New York Times editorial) a member of a Business Advisory Council for the Republican National Congressional Committee (basically, the organization that funds Republican Congressional candidates), demonstrating (with data cut and pasted from campaignmoney.com) that the NYT editorial was in fact correct in its categorization of which party said CEO had supported financially, and that the post I was replying to was wrong to assume that Omega is a big company, and that the CEO would donate money to both parties - and the hints that this assumption was wrong were right there in the editorial. The post I replied to said it was too late to do the research to prove his point - so I did the research, in about 10 minutes. I then pasted the link to the data, the data itself, a link to the company website, and an explanation of what I did, with a description of the Business Advisory Council from their website (I forgot to include their URL, http://www.businessadvisorycouncil.org/, but hell, that's easy enough to find), and this sentence:

Note, too, that I had to do some hunting to find this - in the database, the company name is mis-spelled "TECNOLOGIES" each time (rather strange, that).

Now, the one mistake I made was in using plain old text, so the data would appear in something like the format I pasted it, and I wouldn't have to do the HTML formatting to make it readable. Unfortunately, when you use plain old text, or in any other way paste a long URL without including it in an anchor tag (or if you don't put it in the bracket-URL: construction in plain text), the Slashcode adds a blank space at a particular character point (I haven't done the work to figure out which one) so that the URL will wrap and not screw up the layout of the page. This meant that the URL didn't quite work.

So, I got this reply:

Re:They donate both sides - parent LIES!!!! (Score:1)

WHOA right there buddy. First of all, you spelled TECHNOLOGY wrong. So I was not surprised when I got a "no results found" when I went to your "reference."

So I corrected the spelling... Still no result. http://www.campaignmoney.com/finance.asp?type=io&c ycle=04&criteria=OMEGA+TECHNOLOGIES+INC

And try searching these variations:
OMEGA
OMEGA TECH
OMEGA TECHNOLOGIES INC
OMEGA TECHNOLOGIES


The only result that turned up anything was "OMEGA TECNOLOGIES," even though the search blatantly says "(enter any part of the employer name or occupation)."

So I smell a rat... Or at least a poorly written database. Anyone find REAL info?

I ran a search for OMEGA, which my accusatory respondent says came up with no results. Guess what? It came up with 137 records, on 9 pages; I found one record for Ms. Williams at the bottom of page 7. DisKurzion apparently was as discouraged by the initial result of a search for OMEGA as I was, and didn't look carefully enough at the results.

The reason everything showed up as TECNOLOGIES in my posting - because that's the way it showed up in the records. I doubt that the records were fed in at the same time (they're dated differently), so either the sibling post who suggested that the spelling was an attempt to stay within a 30-char field is correct, or something funky is happening with this data: either at the database end, or, more sinisterly, on the part of the donater - but let's give Ms. Williams the benefit of the doubt.

It's pretty hard to find campaign contribution data by someone with a common name if all you have to go on is her name and her company, and the database consistently mis-spells the name of her company. So how did you find it, Kalidasa? Well, it took some searching.

I first did a search on for campaign contributions. That brought me to the campaign money.com website. I wish I knew more about the website, where its data comes from, etc.; I couldn't find the info after a cursory search. So then I searched for Omega Industries. Oops, wrong name. I tried Omega; too many results. So then I tried backdooring it - I went to the Omega Technologies website and got their zip code. I then searched for this zip code. Too many results again, but fortunately, that data was presented alphabetically by last name, so I was able to jump to the end and find Ms. Williams. Then I copied Ms. Williams' information to the search box and re-searched, and PRESTO! - there it was, as linked to.

So, just in case CampaignMoney.com is doing some funny business, I just did a search for Omega on another website, OpenSecrets.org. Interestingly enough, the name is again spelled Omega Tecnologies. Now, OpenSecrets.org is sponsored by the Center for Responsive Politics (can't say I like their URL, but since that just redirects to the OpenSecrets site, the only way you'll know about it is by looking at their email addresses), which is in turn funded by the "The Ford Foundation (currently under a three year grant of $1,000,000), The Pew Charitable Trusts (currently under a two year grant of $550,000), [and] The Carnegie Corporation (currently under a three year grant of $450,000)," to list just the first three (the only of the five major funders whose names I recognize. Their board includes Republicans and Democrats, and they criticize Republicans and Democrats. They tell us that they get their data from the FEC. So either CamapaignMoney.com is getting it from the FEC too (since they have the same mis-spelling OpenSecrets.org has), or they're getting it from the Center for Responsive Politics.

[EDIT - DisKurzion has apologized for the "lies" comment, and now sees that he was wrong on that point. So I'll give him credit for civility, and the guts to admit when he's wrong.]

Ok, once in a while I may post something I haven't researched enough. I'm not sure what exactly the Administration has done about military pay rates, I just know that some in the military are discouraged and feel they aren't getting paid enough. I haven't taken the time to research that, and yet have posted about it; so I'm not perfect. But I normally do try to limit my comments to things I can find some data about, and I usually check my sources.

By the way, when I metamod, I always mod as unfair any moderations that seem to me to be motivated entirely by politics - even if the moderation was by a liberal/progressive/Democrat against a conservative/Republican. It's possible to have sane political discourse, and I reward those who engage in it - even if I disagree with them. I suggest you all do the same.

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New Slashdot Poll

kalidasa kalidasa writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Posted as my very first journal entry because the story that it referred to has been taken down by the editors, after they belatedly noticed that it was a dupe of a story from earlier in the day.

(PS: The story is up yet again.)

Who's responsible for all the dupes we see on Slashdot?

1. Bill Gates. He is evil incarnate. All that is wrong with the world is due to the evil influence of Bill Gates. He's trying to make the FOSS movement look bad.

2. CmdrTaco. Like Nomar, he's spending too much time with his wife, and is off his game.

3. Subscribers. They're supposed to warn the editors when something from the mysterious future slips through that matches things in the equally mysterious present.

4. Editors who never read the "is there anything wrong with this story" emails.

5. Richard Stallman, for not including Slashcode in emacs.

6. Steve Jobs - the reality distortion field prevents editors from noticing the dupes.

7. Mods who misuse the "overrated" mod.

8. W.

9. Kerry.

10. CowboyNeal.

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