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Comments

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Jailbreaking iPhone Now Legal

macdaddy Re:Warranty? (423 comments)

Why wouldn't you expect to get warranty support? You don't void your automobile warranty by using another brand of air filter, or not having the plug and wires replaced in a dealer-approved garage, or any number of otherwise reasonable things. So why should installing a 3rd-party app void your warranty?

more than 4 years ago
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The Perils of Ramming Products Down IT's Throat

macdaddy Re:Rant (461 comments)

I work for a small company right now. It's an independent telco and ISP and I'm the only IP admin. A big pro is that I get to touch everything and learn everything. A major con is that I also HAVE to do everything. Even though we're small and family-owned there is a layer of mid-level management between the SMEs and the owners. They filter everything going up and never share anything coming back down. My opinion means jack shit around here. If I tell sales not to sell something because it's a bad solution they'll do it anyway. If I tell my boss not to buy something because it won't work right in our network he'll do it anyway. This place has gone downhill fast too. A few short years ago I could sit down with an owner and vent or talk about solutions and help steer where this company goes. Today I'm just another voice in the crowd. I need to ramp up my certs and move on I guess. It's a shame too because the bulk of the people here are fantastic. I'm also from the general area. Still, I don't foresee these problems every being resolved unless the owners 1) recognize that it's a problem and 2) decide to commit the resources needed to fix it. So I don't see it happening.

more than 5 years ago
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Heart Monitors In Middle School Gym Class?

macdaddy Cool your heals, everyone (950 comments)

Holy shit people. Slow the fuck down. You're all assuming that this is for some sort of evil data mining conspiracy. It almost certainly isn't. They are almost certainly asking the kids to provide their own elastic strap for the heart monitor, the thing that tell them and most gym-quality cardio equipment how fast their heart is beating. The sensor and watches (if they use the watches) are plastic and cleanable whereas the elastic strap isn't (short of a wash cycle in a washing machine). They just want the kids to bring their own strap so that they are only wiping germs and dried sweat onto their body that came from their body anyways (ie, not sharing that which carries carries germs). This isn't a big deal. Did you flip out when your kids were in elementary school and the teacher told you as a parent that your kid had to bring their own comb or brush to school instead of sharing with everyone else? It's not the big deal that everyone is making it out to be.

more than 5 years ago
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Town Wants To Hire Witch

macdaddy Trojan Moose (7 comments)

I hear that Sarah Palin is in need of a good job.

more than 5 years ago
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NASA To Announce Module Name On Colbert Show

macdaddy Re:Why not on land too? (201 comments)

You're missing out. Seriously. Catch up with his show on Miro or Youtube.

more than 5 years ago
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Worst Working Conditions You Had To Write Code In?

macdaddy Re:Prayer meetings (1127 comments)

Seriously, you need to name names. You need to blog this one.

more than 5 years ago
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NASA To Announce Module Name On Colbert Show

macdaddy Why not on land too? (201 comments)

Why can't we call it a Colbert on land too? "I'm heading to the Colbert to take a Colbert." "Man, my Colbert stinks! I shouldn't have had those tacos for lunch." One if by land, two if by Colbert.

For the record, I love the Colbert Report. Especially the one a week or so ago where he lambasted Glen Beck for making his career off of 9/11. Colbert and Stewart are amazing.

more than 5 years ago
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Vast Electronic Spying Operation Discovered

macdaddy Re:China Is A Nice Distraction: +1, Helpful (303 comments)

If I'm not mistaken his President 'boss' hit his two-term limit and the both of them left office on January 20th. Of course Mr Cheney is still on TV touting who knows what BS. Perhaps he can be the next Sham-Wow pitch man.

more than 5 years ago
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Anti-Piracy Firm Offering ISPs Money For Outing File-Sharers

macdaddy Re:This violates common carrier (132 comments)

"Part of their Safe Harbon immunity requires them to actively respond to takedown request and to cooperate with copyright enforcement. You might be able to read that as requiring them to participate in this sort of program. I know if I was marketing such a program that that is indeed the spin I would put on it."

Actually no it does not require an SP to "cooperate with copyright enforcement." SPs are required to follow very specific steps to meet the requirements of the Safe Harbor provision. It does not in any way require the SP to cooperate with copyright holders. It requires the SP to receive DMCA Takedown notices, take action against the customer based on those notices (notification, disabling in some cases) but does not require anything beyond that. Like I said in a previous post, all copyright holders include links in their Takedown notices and imply that the SP is required to use that link to provide the copyright holder with customer info. They're relying on at least a few SPs being dumb enough to provide them with said information. They can legally ask for the info in the Takedown notice but it is illegal for the SP to provide it thanks to CPNI. SPs can not provide any customer info without a court order. A DMCA Takedown notice is not a court order. The fine per CPNI violation is extremely stiff. We can all thank former HP CEO Patricia Dunn for that.

For the record I can speak with authority on the topic because I do work for an SP and contract to others. I receive several Takedown notices each week.

more than 5 years ago
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Anti-Piracy Firm Offering ISPs Money For Outing File-Sharers

macdaddy Re:That pill is poison. (132 comments)

"So assisting in enforcement doesn't hurt them."

Actually it may very well hurt them depending on what the ISP does. The ISP can not legally give out any customer info without a court order. A DMCA Takedown notice is not a court order. Providing any customer without a court order is a CPNI violation and hence illegal. All copyright holders provide a link in their Takedown notices implying that the ISP is required to use the form found at that link to provide the copyright holder with the customer's information. They're hoping that there are at least a few SPs out there who are dumb enough to do that. It is of course illegal for the SP to do so.

Back to the topic of the original article, providing any customer info to Nexicon is a CPNI violation. CPNI isn't just for telcos, folks.

more than 5 years ago
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Using Drupal

macdaddy Re:Drupal.. (122 comments)

To the best of my knowledge FOX Network hasn't given Ann Coulter her own show, yet.

more than 5 years ago
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Tooth Regeneration Coming Soon

macdaddy Old news (289 comments)

I thought I heard about researchers growing human teeth, cloned teeth, on the back of lab rats when I was in college a decade ago.

more than 5 years ago
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IPv4 Address Use In 2008

macdaddy Re:tunnelbroker.net (258 comments)

Having a DOCSIS 3 CM has nothing to do with providing IPv6 to the CPE. DOCSIS 3 added IPv6 support for the CM itself. It could care less what flows across it. The CMTS on the otherhand is another matter. IPv6 support can be configured on a cable interfaces of a Cisco uBR which doesn't yet support DOCSIS 3. The uBR7225VXR is a good example. Other vendors are different. Arris C3s do not and never will support DOCSIS 3. DOCSIS 3 isn't a simple software upgrade. It has specific hardware requirements. Arris' C4 on the other hand is modular and can have modules with DOCSIS 3 support installed in it. Motorola's BSR line is similar. The pizza box CMTSs do not support DOCSIS 3. The larger modular chassis like the BSR 64000 will eventually support DOCSIS 3 (they currently don't or didn't the last I looked).

On the topic of DOCSIS 3 in general, there is no such thing as DOCSIS 3.1. There also is no such thing as "proprietary extensions" being added to DOCSIS 3.0. The notion is purely horse shit. A CM or CMTS is only certified by CableLabs as DOCSIS-compliant if it adheres to the strict CableLabs DOCSIS spec. There aren't any "proprietary extensions" in DOCSIS. This is exactly what DOCSIS was created to eliminate. CMs are 100% interchangeable. Moto CMs offer no enhancements on DOCSIS that Arris CMs don't already offer and likewise with the other smaller CM manufacturers.

The only things slowing DOCSIS 3.0 deployment are 1) demand or need for the benefits of DOCSIS 3 (bandwidth or IPv6 support for CMs) and 2) cost. DOCSIS 3.0 requires a significant investment in the HE. It's not a simple software upgrade. In many cases the CMTS itself must be replaced and a new investment made in expensive new hardware. If the cost was the same then we'd be deploying DOCSIS 3.0 CMTSs today and migrating CMs as needed. An Arris C4 costs approximately $250,000 for a basic chassis with half a dozen upstreams and a single downstream. The pizza box C3 which does not support DOCSIS 3.0 (and never will) costs $20,000. If the demand was there for bandwidth we'd be deploying DOCSIS 3.0 CMTSs. If we were Comcast and had the world's largest CATV OSP we'd be deploying DOCSIS 3.0 CMTSs for our CM management needs alone (and they are BTW regardless of whether or not they're offering DOCSIS 3.0 to their users).

more than 5 years ago
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AT&T 3G Upgrades Degrade 2G Signal Strength

macdaddy Re:Centro (210 comments)

Agreed. Go Cats!

more than 5 years ago
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US Has Been In Recession Since December 2007

macdaddy No shit (540 comments)

No shit. The only people who wouldn't come out and say it are being evicted on January 20, 2009. The Clampetts are moving back to Texas.

about 6 years ago
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Entertainment Software Association Following RIAA?

macdaddy Standard DMCA Takedown Notice (204 comments)

What's the big deal here? This is a standard DMCA Takedown Notice. We get dozens of them a month at my ISP. It's very standard and the proper and legal way for a copyright owner to inform a service provider that a copyright violation has occurred. The service provider is required to take specific actions to maintain their Safe Harbor status. There is nothing unusual about receiving one of these form letters. I've received them from the ESA as well. Not a big deal.

about 6 years ago
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Preview the New MythTV User Interface

macdaddy Re:Just dumped MythTV (229 comments)

Me thinks you should share your script with your fellow man... :-)

more than 6 years ago
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San Fran Hunts For Mystery Device On City Network

macdaddy Re:Simple: (821 comments)

Not really. A network admin should be able to track down the thing, but it will take a lot of work to scan network logs. From the network standpoint, it doesn't matter if the gateway is running on a PC, or running on a VM inside a PC... the network traffic looks the same.

It shouldn't take any competent netadm more than 5 minutes to track down any device to a specific port on a switch. There are no logs to look at. What do you think is logged that you'd want to look at to track it? Seriously, it's incredibly simple to do. The thing has an IP and for that IP to be useable on the network it must be in the RIB (read: route table). With less than a minute's work a netadm should be able to track down that route to the router that's originating it. I don't care how big your network it. It should take less than a minute. Once you've found the router originating the route you've almost certainly found the router with an L3 interface in the same broadcast domain as the target device (the router could also be redistributing a static route in which case the static route would point you to the device in possession of said prefix, or a trail of bread crumbs of multiple static routes that will eventually lead you to the device using that prefix). If the router is part of that broadcast domain then it will have an entry in the ARP table for the target IP and will give you the device's MAC. From that router's config the netadm can determine where all that broadcast domain is accessible. Ie, what L2 switches downstream of the router have that VLAN on it. The netadm can examine the CAM table (SAT in Cabletron-speak, bridge forward table in generic terms) to figure out which interface the target's MAC is associated with. That will point him to the correct downstream switch. The netadm will do the same thing on that switch to track the target device their the broadcast domain until he find the one access interface that the target device is connected to. Once he finds that interface he visits that wiring closet and tracks the cable down manually to the target device.

Really, it's much easier than it sounds. Once you've done this once or twice it will become second nature. This should not take a competent netadm more than 5 minutes. I don't care how big the network is. This isn't rocket science. The City of San Francisco is just trying to make their case sound worse than it really is. It would take a truly incompetent IT department to not be able to find that device. I would say that it was impossible to be that incompetent but I'm sure someone would try to prove me wrong.

more than 6 years ago
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San Fran Hunts For Mystery Device On City Network

macdaddy Re:Simple: (821 comments)

Because I'm a fucking dumbass and didn't think about it....

Are you waiting for someone to disagree with you? ;-)

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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4th Under-sea Middle-East Cable Cut

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

macdaddy (38372) writes "The Middle-East has suffered is 4th under-sea fiber cut in less than a week with the loss of the link between Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. This is the 4th such cut in under-sea fiber links beginning with 2 cuts in the Meditteranean off the coast of Alexandria, followed shortly by the 3rd cut off the coast of Dubai.

Mean while at the site of an earlier fiber cut in the Meditterranean Sea, the Eygpt Transport Ministry is reporting that a surfaced-based ship could not have caused that fiber cut. Onshore video cameras recorded all surface activity in the area of the fiber cut. The Transport Ministry reported that the recordings do not show any ships in the area before or after the loss of service.

Finally, the folks over at Defense Tech are discussing more sinister possibilities for the Middle-East's fiber cuts."

Journals

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Do you use Slashdot's relationship options?

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 9 years ago Do you sort through the masses on Slashdot by defining friends and foes ? I've been on Slashdot for going on 8 years now. In all that time I've never ceased to be amazed at the amount of utter trash and nonsense on these discussion boards. I was quite pleased to see the ability to define relationships added to Slashcode, what 2 years ago? 2 sounds about right. In the beginning though I more or less ignored Slashcode relationships. I started using them eventually to define a handful of complete and total idiots as foes. Since then my lists have grown considerably. As of this writing I have:

Friends : 86

Foes : 47

I also have a sizeable number of fans and even some freaks :

Fans : 64

Freaks : 24

Apparently others and finding the service useful as well. There's nothing like a good debate of some controversial topics to give the nutcases a chance to shine, and us a chance to add them to our foe list. In case you weren't aware of this already, you can effectively block your foes and freaks by giving them score of -6 in your personal preferences (Preferences, Comments section, options listed under "People Modifier")

My questions for the Slashdot community in general follow:

How many people actually use the relationship features found in Slashcode?

Which do you use more, the friend or foe option?

How many of each do you have?

Does a person's foe or foe of a friend rating affect whether or not you read that person's comment? ie, do you skip it?

Have you ever reassigned a foe to neutral or friend? I've removed one foe rating and gave that person a neutral.

***UPDATE*** After careful consideration I've decided that an additional relationship option should be added to the current friend/foe/neutral options. I believe there should be an "Idiot" option. I've encountered a few people over the years that I simply have no desire to ever hear from again. Their posts are irrational, illogical and irrelvant. Since I can control how the score of a person's post is affected with my personal preferences, I'd like to be able to -5 an Idiots post while not necessarily doing the same to my Foes. That would be a nice option.

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macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 9 years ago Now I know what you're thinking. This must be a scam. I thought the same thing too until an online friend of mine got his free iPod. The way these people make money is by connecting online advertisers with people willing to see their advertising. As long as you have a way of shutting off the advertising at a later date, all will be well (ie, use a disposable email account).

Finally someone has put up a freebie offer that doesn't cost you very much. The FreeiPod offer worked in the beginning because you had the option of signing up for a few completely free offers (as long as you canceled in time). However they removed those options, making all the various things you could sign up for cost you a minimum of about $10. However the Mini Mac freebie only costs you $1. That's right. It will only cost you a buck. In fact it will make you $20. Here's what you need to do.

Sign up at the Free Mini Mac site with a disposable email address. You're going to toss this address later because you're gonna get a lot of junk mail. This address will be put on spamming lists and sold and resold more times than you can imagine. You have to use a valid address though because you have to be able to get the account validation email and respond with it. I used an email alias on one of my domains for this task. I'll delete the alias when I'm done with it.

Next click through all the pages of crap you don't want to sign up for until you get to the long page of "offers." Scroll down to the one that says "Complete Home" and choose it. I went with this option because it only costs $1, doesn't require that I stay a member for a given period of time (like the stamps.com offer), and actually gives me money that I can use (I go to Lowe's weekly). If I somehow forget to cancel it will only cost me $8.99. I'll still come out ahead.

Complete the Complete Home signup process and bookmark the terms and conditions webpage (link is at the bottom). This is important because you will need the number on that page to cancel the subscription in a week or so. It's 1-800-232-HOME in case you forgot to bookmark it. Heck, here's a link to their T&C if you need it.

By signing up with Complete Home you'll actually make $19 ($20 gift card minus the $1 signup fee). All my friends are doing this for each other right now. So ifyou mind giving me a hand and signing up for the Free Mini Mac. I'll do the same for you. Thanks!

***UPDATE*** I just heard from another user that the efax.com offer is completely free. I haven't yet verified this yet but that's what the freeminimacs.com blurb says, as well as my source. Note that my first suggestions actually nets you $19, whereas this one costs you nothing. Both are good options. Frankly I prefer the Lowes card because I'm there just about every other day. YMMV of course.

Also, one last thing. After I get my Mini Mac I will be more than happy to help one of the people that helped me by signing up for me get one of their own. I'll remove my referral link and replace it with their's at that time. Because of that you need to make sure to check your disposable email account for a message from me in case I pick you as the one I'll change my referral link to (since I don't have any other means of contacting you or verifying that you helped me out). Thanks again.

***UPDATE*** 1 completed referral down, 9 to go. Woohoo! Thanks, buddy

***UPDATE*** I thought I should also mention that you have to visit a website and fill out a form to get your $20 gift card. Your membership number (needed) and the URL will be sent in separate emails to your disposable account. Don't lose them. And then don't forget to cancel about a week later.

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Most moderated comment

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 10 years ago So far I think this one is my best ever:

9 Insightfuls

4 Overrateds

1 Offtopic

and a partidge in a B-tree.

How do you like 'em apples? Not too shabby if I do say so myself.

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Slashdot on a cell phone

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 10 years ago I just dumped my Alltel cell service and switched to Verizon. They seem to be a fair carrier in this area. I bought their LG VX7000 phone (upper end of the LG line). I got "Mobile Web" added to my service as well. I've found the browser to be difficult to use. I wish I had a Treo 660 but I'm sure I'd break it in the end. I need both a phone and a PDA and not always both at the same time.

I'm trying to figure out how to view the /. headlines on my new phone. I've read through the FAQ for the answer but came up short. I did however find a page talking about RDF and XML versions of the main page here. Neither page loaded though. I know it's been done before. Does anyone know how? Thans

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Diarrhea girl

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 10 years ago Does anyone find the red-headed "diarrhea girl" from the latest Pepto-Bismol commercial cute besides me?

"Nausea, heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, diarrhea... Yeah Pepto-Bismol!"

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Apple Terminal.app SUCKS!!

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 10 years ago ARGH!!!! I can not stand Apple's Terminal.app program. Be it problems with default preferences not saved or randomly reset to being able to quit the program with a key command but no user confirmation, Terminal.app manages to piss me off at least 3 times a week. Just seconds ago I had 7 terms opened and SSHed to 7 differents servers doing a variety of things. I fat-fingered Command-Tab and hit Command-Q instead. Instantly Terminal.app closed all connections and the program exited. Shit! Now before any of you mention it, yes, I've configured Terminal.app to prompt before "closing" a terminal window. This doesn't however have any effect on quiting the application in general. God I hate this fscking program. If only there was another OS X terminal emulator that didn't revolve around Terminal.app in some manner. *sigh*

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Opportunity lander a success

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 10 years ago Submitted to /. on 20040124 at 11:30:00CST.

Spirit's twin lander, Opportunity, arrived at the Martian surface at 0505 GMT. Celebrities present in Mission Control at Cal-Tech include former US Vice President Al Gore and current California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. In other news real-estate prices in Mars' Meridiani Planum are soaring...

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Fighting the *AA cartels sue-bots

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  about 11 years ago I just stumbled across this little gem. I don't see a name for the product. What it essentially does is create files with the names of common movies and songs that contain nothing more than zeros. Stick these files on a web page or FTP server and wait for the *AA sue-bots to crawl your site and send a C&D letter. The *AA of choice would be making a legal threat illegally. So if you're really bored of have the $$ to spare you could sue for barratry. Who has the patience for that though? This would fill their sue-bot output with a bunch of BS, similar to filling a spammer's spam-bot with a bunch of bogus email addresses. It's a novel idea...

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My BCS gripe

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  about 11 years ago Note: I would have selected the journal Topic "Football." Oddly enough it wasn't an option... ;-)

I have a gripe, and it's a big one. This particular gripe is with the college football ranking system and bowl selection system. In short I believe the current system is a scam. Tell me this, how can the number one college football team in the nation, USC, not play in the national championship? How can the number 3 team, OU (O Who?), play in their place? Now don't get me wrong. I'm not a USCOU fan either. I'm a K-State fan. That's right. I have a Wildcat tattooed on my ass, and I like it. I'm a fan of the team that was ranked 15th last week, K-State. I'm a fan of the team that played the team that was ranked number 1 last week, OU. I'm a fan of the team that beat the living hell out of the number 1 team in the nation, at least they were last week. That's right. #15 K-State whipped the living shit out of #1 OU 35-7. Oh hell yeah! Who's your daddy?! If your a O Who fan, you probably don't know. ;-P Let me just say one more thing before I get back on topic. Bob Stoops REALLY looked like he needed a dip REALLY badly at the end of the 3rd quarter. If you don't know what I mean by that then this will be utterly lost on you.

Last week's #1, OU, was completely and utterly trounched by #15, K-State. It wasn't like OU wasn't there to play. They scored on their fourth play. OU just couldn't K-State's running or passing game. OU's offense couldn't handle K-State's power house of a defense. OU was simply bested by the better team, the team that went to Arrowhead to win. That ass-whoopin' dropped OU to number 3 and raised K-State to #8. Why is it that OU is still playing in the Sugar Bowl, this year's championship game, then? I'll tell you why. It's because some computer in up-state New York thought they should be. USC whipped Oregon State Saturday by 24 points. This win ensured USC the number 1 spot in the nation. However no one ever expected a BCS computer to decide that since OU played 1 more game than USC that OU was the better team. Opps! Bend over USC. Now you know how we K-Staters feel. The BCS jackasses have been screwing us for years. Strength of schedule my ass. How many times have we had the number 1 defense in the nation? This year we have the nation's leading rusher. The BCS always treats us like their midwest bitch.

USC was voted number one in the nation by the ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll AND the Associated Press' media poll. You remember what coaches are don't you, BCS people? They are the people who really know what teams are the best in the nation. Try not to forget that.

USC is the number one team in the nation. The Rose Bowl is this year's true National Championship game, once again. The BCS is now truly a joke. Now everyone realizes this. We K-Staters have been saying this for years, as has others. Now the nation knows it too. How exactly can a supposed number 1 team be number 1 and yet not even win their conference? Strike that, how can they be number 1 if they thoroughly got their asses kicked in their coference game? Bye bye BCS. The BCS ranking is a joke. The best should be decided by playoffs. That's the only fair why to play the game. You'll be gone very soon BCS, and we couldn't be happier.

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Microsoft's future Mac products plan?

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  about 11 years ago I was sitting on my throne browsing through the latest MacMall catalog the other day when I came across the Microsoft product section (about 1.5 pages). I was reading the blurb on Virtual PC 6.1. I decided then and there that I must write down what I've been saying for months about Microsoft's Mac product line future. This is my prediction...

The whole reason Microsoft bought Virtual PC and Connectix is really quite simple. Microsoft is going to pull the plug on all their Apple development for all of their products except for Virtual PC. "Why?" you might ask? Consider this, Microsoft is having to develop their office and home use applications twice, once for x86 and once for PPC. They are duplicating development efforts for:

Note that Internet Explorer is not listed since it is no longer being developed by Microsoft for Macs. (yippeeee!!!!!)

That's a lot of redundant development, especially for a platform that's not even their own!

How can Microsoft lower their development overhead and still either a) sell products to Mac users or b) convince users to switch to Windows? To me the answer is very obvious. Microsoft is developing a common codebase for which to run their existing applications off of. They can save money by porting Windows to a Mac environment, just like in Virtual PC. They no longer have to code everything twice. A x86 version of Office 2010 will run just fine under Virtual PC on a Mac. That is how they lower their costs. Now they only have one application to develop: Virtual PC. That completes their first goal. They get revenue from more sales and have to do very little work to make it happen. How do they eventually get this userbase to switch to x86 Windows though? It's simple really: They pull a bait and switch and drive their mac customers to Windows. They could do this by introducing instability into Virtual PC that leaks over into OS X. They blame the crashing on Apple and lure some users away to x86-ville. They get everyone switched to Office via VPC but introduce a bug with the release of a new Office. The new Office won't run on VPC. Again they blame Apple. Microsoft then drags it's feet on "patching" VPC so that the new Office can run on it (funny, I thought this was a Windows environment...) all the while blaming Apple for bad coding and not sharing APIs. In the process they lure more users away. They do this every time a new Office comes out that uses a different file format. The Office via VPC users are continually stuck using a dated version that can't open documents from a new version of Office on x86. Frustration leads to migration; bye bye more users. Eventually Microsoft is just going to leave the Mac arena but not until after making a big public todo over how bad OS X is and how Apple leveraged its position wouldn't share APIs as well as intentionally making Microsoft products run poorly on OS X. This will of course be a load of hooey but the smear campaign will work to some degree. More people will switch to x86 just to get Office back.

Think it won't happen? I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you. It seems to make perfect sense. The loss of Microsoft applications on Macs is a good thing to me--a damned good thing. Internet Explorer on OS X was a joke. It was HORRIBLE. IE literally locked me out of a PacketShaper 4545 once. That put a stupid look on my face, all because some genious programmer at Microsoft decided that IE should modify all pre-configured text fields on a form before form submissions, even if the field hadn't had its text altered. Genious. The worst thing about Microsoft products leaving the Mac arena is that this will give anti-Mac IT folks a chance to say no more Macs on the network. No more Office on Mac means that the Mac users won't be able to share files easily with the PC users. Anti-Mac IT folks will have a foothold to keep Macs off the network from then on.

I sure hope OpenOffice becomes usable on all platforms in the very near future. If it becomes adpoted soon enough, we might not really care what Microsoft does...

This of course is my opinion; I could be wrong.

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Doing your homework on online merchants?

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 11 years ago I have bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods on the 'Net over the years. I mean that literally. If you include the auctions I've won then that number would easily double. I've been extremely fortunate to have a very limited number of bad online transactions. I've also been lucky enough to not have an problems (that I know of) with identity theft. I credit my good fortune to picking merchants that I've either heard good things about or got the warm and fuzzies after visiting their site or doing research on them. Still, I've had my problems. I now always double check new merchants with a review site called ResellerRatings.com. I get to hear from other consumers on their experiences (good or bad) with that merchant. It has saved my ass numerous times. I've found that the cheapest place is usually not the best place to make your purchase. Paying a few bucks extra to buy from NewEgg or GoogleGear is worth it. The service before and after the sale is worth it alone. You might end up paying $1-15 more for something but it's worth it IMHO. One time when I didn't check resellerratings.com is one time I definitely got burnt. I priced ultra/160 73GB hard drives a year or so ago. One vendor had a significantly lower price and had a pretty good site. That merchant was Computer Giants. I recommended to my employer that we buy that hard drive through CG. Big mistake. The drive was faulty from the start and went KIA within a day or so of being powered up. Needless to say CG was less than helpful with a RMA. They wanted us to pay for the return shipping AND for CG to test the drive to determine if it was in fact faulty AT THEIR LEISURE. The drive was destined for a server and a project that depended on it. Paying more money for a DOA drive was certainly not reasonable. We were a state agency for Pete's sake and they sold us a faulty product. In the end Maxtor's excellent support bailed us out. They replaced the drive with a brand new one that worked flawlessly. That was one of only a few times I didn't research an online merchant before doing business with them. Before sinking your hard-earned cash into a ubber-special deal from a merchant you've never heard of before, I highly recommend you do a few minutes worth of research into their past. It could save you a lot of potential grief.

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'Do Not Call' List Blocked By Court

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 11 years ago A U.S. court in Oklahoma has blocked the national "Do Not Call" list one week before it was to go into effect. The Direct Marketing Association sued to block the list shortly after Congress approved it in January, saying it would violate free-speech laws and discriminate against an industry that provides millions of jobs. It's at least a temporary victory for telephone spammers.

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Two more DNS Blocklists forced of the Net

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 11 years ago Submitted to /. 20030823

Hot on the heels of the demise of Osirusoft.com, news is spreading of the demise of the Monkeys.com and of the (at least) temporary demise of OpenRBL. Monkeys.com is known for providing the Unsecured Proxies List, UPL which was highly effective at combating open proxy spam. The wave of DDoS attacks against DNS Blocklist servers is gaining speed. Who's the next target: SpamCop, NJABL, MAPS or ORDB? What does it take to get the FBI involved in tracking down the sources of the DDoS attacks with possible ties to the recent viruses that create a distributed network of open proxies?

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My biggest Slashdot Gripe

macdaddy macdaddy writes  |  more than 12 years ago Want to know what my biggest /. gripe is? The story submission process. I've submitted perhaps a dozen stories to /. in my time. One has been accepted. It wasn't even that good. Most of the ones I wrote were Ask Slashdot questions and were world's better than some of the stupid stuff that gets asked on Ask /.. Yet, they were rejected. What's wrong with rejections? Nothing. I'm sure the /. folks see all sorts of submissions and get sick of dumb stories quickly. They probably also had grammatically incorrect stories or stories lacking enough technical content and links as well. Rejects are good if there is a good reason.

This is where the problem comes in. No reason is given for story submission rejects. Why? Probably because there isn't an easy way to do this in SlashCode. Imagine this.

Joe writes a story, previews it a couple times while adding content, then submits the story. A /. editor, lets call him Leroy, reads Joe's story. The story was obviously not proof-read because it's full of grammatical errors and mis-spelled words. The good news is Joe has a good story topic. It doesn't have enough technical content though. Joe forgot to include links to the company involved or an offsite news story. Bad Joe. No cookie for him.

Now, under the existing story submission process Leroy would simply reject the story. I propose that SlashCode have a way for Leroy to provide feedback to Joe on his story. Now I'm sure the /. editors read and reject^H^H^H^H^H^Hconsider hundreds if not thousands of stories each day. Whatever the feedback method is, it can't consume much more of their time if any. I propose the inclusion of a couple menus on the editor's page that lists the most common reasons for rejecting a message. The menus could contains reasons such as

Grammatical errors

Mis-spelled words

Bad links

Rambles

Lacks technical depth

Duplicate story

Incorrect Topic/Section

Topic not meant for Slashdot

Or any other common reasons for rejecting a story. Each menu selection in the first menu of reasons could then change the menu items in a second menu of suggestions.

Proof read

Double Check Links

Make more concise

Find technical content

For example "Grammatical errors" or "Mis-spelled words" could give the option of "Proof read" by default (and "go back to elementary school" as a second option). "Bad links" could give the option of "Double Check Links" by default and "Find a mirror" as a secondary option.

Using these menus would be very simple, almost effortless. There could even be a text field for Leroy to make notes in if they desire. Perhaps the story is good and just needs a couple small changes before Leroy would accept it. Leroy could express this in his own words in the text box if they wish. Now when Joe goes to check his messages, he sees that his story has been rejected. He checks the notes on it and see why. Whoops. It looks like he forgot to proof read his story. Whoops again, he forgot to include the links to the technical specs on that new gizmo. Since this new fangled system lets him edit the story he submitted for X days (new feature please), he brings it up, revises it complete with typo-fixes and new technical data and links. Now Joe resubmits it. Well since an editor, Leroy, has already worked with this story once before, it is auto-assigned to Leroy. Leroy then checks in on his submitted stories. Hmm, looks like Joe revised his story. "Why, this is exactly what I was looking for!, he exclaims . He sees that all the neccessary changes have been made and the story is good enough to accept. Joe checks his messages later and sees that his story was accepted. Joe is happy. Happy is Joe.

Now isn't that a much nicer way to accept and reject stories? Tell me, how many of you folks out there hated math teachers that never gave you the opportunity to correct math homework, even if it was only for half credit? I know I sure did. Did the quality of your work improve because of it? I imagine it did. I submit that the quality of user-submitted stories would increase if such a process were implemented and given a chance.

In all honesty it wouldn't take any more time away from Leroy to use the menus. By setting your default appropriately, one or two menu selections and a click is all Leroy would have to do after reading the submission. That's not too hard or time consuming, is it? Joe is happy because he received actual feedback instead of a big fat rejected on his submission. I'd compare the existing method to having a bank stamp a big fat rejected on your home loan app with no explanation. With my method they would at the very least give you a couple reasons why the loan app wasn't ready for the big time. "Your credit doesn't meet our minimum requirements", "You don't have enough collateral for a loan of this size". Ideally you'd get a couple simple suggestions to go with the reasons, such as "apply for a secured credit card and use it for 6 months to build more credit", "eliminate higher interest debits first, then come back", or "consider using your retirement or motorcycle as collateral". I'd much rather have constructive input than a big fat rejected, wouldn't you?

These menus could be incredibly easy to implement. If I was a half-way decent programmer, I'd submit the source to SlashCode myself. Unfortunately I'm not a programmer by trade. I do think it would be very easy to do though. The menus would be javascript driven. I've done much of that before on my statistic sites and it's not too hard. The story archival for correction feature wouldn't be too hard either I wouldn't manage. Just hold on to the story text a little longer and allow the user to edit a copy of it, then resubmit it back to the assigned editor. That can't be that hard either. This simple addition would greatly improve my impression of story submission process. If I were using SlashCode on my own server (I'm considering it), I as the editor would want to be able to tell my users why I rejected their submission. Otherwise I'm sure they'd call me on the phone to ask why. SlashCode isn't always used in places where the editors and users don't know each other personally and aren't separated by thousands of miles.

That's about all I have to say on this. I have posted two articles to slashcode.com about it in the past and both were received with favortism towards implementation.

"Submission rejection feedback"

"Story Submission Suggestion"

I think it would be a worth while thing to implement. Of course I could always be wrong. I welcome input from other current and potential SlashCode gurus and admins.

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