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Comments

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Poetry For Sysadmins: Shall I Compare Thee To a Lumbering Bear?

mendax Haiku (31 comments)

I think changing the messages produced by 404 pages so that they produce haiku similar o that produced by BeOS its NetPositive browser runs into a problem would be funny, especially if the sysadmin doesn't know about it!

4 days ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

mendax More Star Trek (701 comments)

Ah, here's another one for those Klingonophiles among us:

GhoS!

about a week ago
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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

mendax The Elevator (701 comments)

"Good for you, you've decided to clean the elevator!" You have to be of a certain age to know the hilarious movie that came from.

about a week ago
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Why the FCC Is Likely To Ignore Net Neutrality Comments and Listen To ISPs

mendax Who Needs an Article to Tell Me This? (140 comments)

The government is corrupt, morally bankrupt, and will do what those with the most money want them to do. As someone suggested above, if the EFF was the NRA of Internet it would be a different matter. But, in the end, since this really is an issue of two conflicting corporate interests, and one of these interests just happens to mirror that of the people.

Frankly, I think net neutrality will win out in the marketplace because of the things some companies, e.g., Google, are doing to let their users know that the ISP's are throttling them. The ISP's can't prevent them from doing this and ISP's customers can choose another ISP that doesn't do it, or at least offers better performance. Another possibility is that the content providers the ISP's are throttling will eventually become ISP's themselves, especially Google.

about two weeks ago
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How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa

mendax Re:Nice (145 comments)

Hmmm... maybe not ALL but several. They ran at 3 mips and there is an emulator.

about two weeks ago
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How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa

mendax Re:Really now (145 comments)

While reading this a thought occurred to me. Assuming that our African friends are ingenious in their use of this computing power and do a lot of good with it, in a few years perhaps more decommissioned government supercomputers, like the one that replaced Ranger which is 20 times faster, will head in their direction and bless other African universities. African universities are full of very clever, brilliant people who will make use of this gift, and likely do it in ways that will surprise us.

about two weeks ago
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How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa

mendax Re:Really now (145 comments)

Do those countries really have the resources to invest in that research?

When I came across this article I immediately called my dad, a person who has lived and taught in Africa and maintains an interest interest in the place. His thoughts were along the line of what projects do they have which demand supercomputing power. My response was, "If you build it, the demand will come." These computers are going to be placed in an academic environment, where brilliant people who have not had access to such computing power are now, all of a sudden, going to have it. The ideas will come forward quickly enough. Give our friends in Africa a few years and they may surprise us with their ingenuity.

about two weeks ago
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Scientists Have Developed a Material So Dark That You Can't See It

mendax Not dark enough (238 comments)

My evil black cat is far darker than that. She is a sink of evil, absorbing all light in a room. If she were much blacker I'd suspect I'd have a tame black hole living with me before, jumping up onto my bed, waking me up to be petted, and then proceeding to try to bite me. Things just don't get blacker than that!

about two weeks ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

mendax Re:This post is an advert (231 comments)

I don't know what you're doing. I tried several times without success. soylentnews.com was always replaced with slashdot.org.

D'oh! I'm an idiot. It helps if the href contains an "http://" as part of the URL. Ok. No more conspiracy theories now, at least not on this issue.

about three weeks ago
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Avast Buys 20 Used Phones, Recovers 40,000 Deleted Photos

mendax This post is an advert (231 comments)

This article is good reading in itself but it wound up being an advert for the poster's product. I wonder how much Dice got paid to post this "story"? Is it any wonder I spend more time over at soylentnews.org, the name of which I was going to bury in a link but couldn't because the link gets replaced with "slashdot.org"?

about three weeks ago
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I suffer from jet lag ...

mendax The cure for jet lag (163 comments)

Jet lag has always been bad for me because I can't sleep on airliners unless I'm sick. A trip back from New York with newly emergent mononucleosis and a trip back from London with a bad cold caught in Paris taught me these facts. But I found a sure fire way of sleeping on airliners: cold pills and booze. A dose of over-the-counter anti-histamines and two extra-strong screwdrivers did the trick and I slept for six hours on a flight from Sydney to Los Angeles.

about 1 month ago
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

mendax Re:Dead on arrival (345 comments)

Oh, I've experienced it. But on a bike that high torque is going to leave you on your ass and your bike bent up as you pop a wheelie using all that torque. I'll stick with gasoline and pistons.

about a month ago
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

mendax Re:Dead on arrival (345 comments)

> Bikers such as myself appreciate the engine noise their bikes make.
We'll you and your kin are the only ones. Nothing more annoying than a handful of Harley's driving downtown between the buildings, holding the clutch in, and revving the engine.

You're damned right! However, I personally dislike the noise Harleys make. They're too damned loud. I ride a Suzuki Bandit. That's a Japanese sport touring bike with a big crotch rocket engine. It's reasonable quiet until you get onto the freeway and wind it up.

about a month ago
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

mendax Re:Dead on arrival (345 comments)

I'll have you know that no one has ever complained about my penis. It's more than adequate I assure you. Have you looked in a mirror yourself?

about a month ago
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Harley-Davidson Unveils Their First Electric Motorcycle

mendax Dead on arrival (345 comments)

I can predict that such a motorcycle will never have much of a market. Here's why.

Bikers such as myself appreciate the engine noise their bikes make. It's a marvelous thing. While I personally dislike the noise Harley engines make—they're too damned loud—I like the healthy, high octane growl the 1.2 liter engine I sit just above and behind makes. Then there are the vibrations from the engine. At 90 mph, the engine spins at about 5500 rpm. It's an incredible feeling to sense all that power at my command being exerted.

As you can expect, none of these things are present in an electric bike. It's going to be quite a dull experience to ride an electric bike I think.

about a month ago
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US Government OKs Sale of Sharper Satellite Images

mendax Good news (82 comments)

For the voyeurs among us, it'll allow them to get a better look at those sunbathing nude in their backyards. But beyond that, what will it offer? Perhaps better looks at the Disneyland of North Korea, Pyongyang, the capital of that Tragic Kingdom? That's one of my favorite places to look at via Google Earth.

about a month and a half ago
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Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Would Not Get a Fair Trial – and Kerry Is Wrong

mendax Re:prosecutions are done on law in place at the ti (519 comments)

It doesn't help that he ended up in Russia. With the Crimea mess he just looks like Putin's puppet. To an extent that can be blamed on the "spy bureaucracy," but if Snowden knew he was gonna piss of the State Department, and he knew that he'd only be allowed to travel if State didn't revoke his documents, then he probably should not have gone through Moscow.

If I were Edward Snowden I would not want to route a series of flights to South American, where he was originally intending to go, that would take me through airports in American-friendly countries. Going to Russia on an Aeroflot flight to Moscow and then to Cuba and then from there to somewhere in South American would have been the smartest thing to do. I doubt the US would be willing to piss off the Russians by sending out the F-15s to intercept a Russian-flagged airliner. And as Snowden has pointed out, once in Russia he was unable to go any farther except back to the US because the State Department had revoked his passport. However, it is rather fortuitous that Snowden is in Russian. That is probably the best place for him to be, especially now because Putin is not going to be doing any favors for the American government.

about 2 months ago
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Organic Cat Litter May Have Caused Nuclear Waste Accident

mendax Bad Kitty Litter (174 comments)

This must have been very poor quality kitty litter. Given what my evil black cat puts into her cat box, the highest of quality in kitty litter must be obtained to prevent a similar explosion.

about 2 months ago
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Curiosity Rover May Have Brought Dozens of Microbes To Mars

mendax Re:What goes around comes around (97 comments)

It just occurred to me that even if we were to find only bacteria whose ancestor's hitchhiked their way to Mars from Earth on one of our probes, that would be a remarkable find in itself. It would demonstrate that life could have existed on Mars at one time even if we don't find any native Martian bugs.

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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Why Movie Streaming Services Are Unsatisfying — and Will Stay So

mendax mendax writes  |  about 4 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "A New York Times op-ed reports:

A team of web designers recently released an astonishingly innovative app for streaming movies online. The program, Popcorn Time, worked a bit like Netflix, except it had one unusual, killer feature. It was full of movies you’d want to watch.

When you loaded Popcorn Time, you were presented with a menu of recent Hollywood releases: “American Hustle,” “Gravity,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” “12 Years A Slave” and hundreds of other acclaimed films were all right there, available for instant streaming at the click of a button.

If Popcorn Time sounds too good to be true, that’s because it was. The app was illegal — a well-designed, easy-to-use interface for the movie-pirating services that have long ruled the Internet’s underbelly. Shortly after the app went public, its creators faced a barrage of legal notices, and they pulled it down.

But like Napster in the late 1990s, Popcorn Time offered a glimpse of what seemed like the future, a model for how painless it should be to stream movies and TV shows online. The app also highlighted something we’ve all felt when settling in for a night with today’s popular streaming services, whether Netflix, Amazon, iTunes, Hulu, or Google or Microsoft’s media stores: They just aren’t good enough."

Link to Original Source
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Apparent Theft at Mt. Gox Shakes Bitcoin World

mendax mendax writes  |  about 5 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that Mt. Gox, the most prominent Bitcoin exchange, 'appeared to be on the verge of collapse late Monday, raising questions about the future of a volatile marketplace.'

'On Monday night, a number of leading Bitcoin companies jointly announced that Mt. Gox, the largest exchange for most of Bitcoin’s existence, was planning to file for bankruptcy after months of technological problems and what appeared to have been a major theft. A document circulating widely in the Bitcoin world said the company had lost 744,000 Bitcoins in a theft that had gone unnoticed for years. That would be about 6 percent of the 12.4 million Bitcoins in circulation.'

Maybe the U.S. Dollar isn't so bad after all."

Link to Original Source
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Spying by N.S.A. Ally Ensnared U.S. Law Firm

mendax mendax writes  |  about 5 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that '[t]he list of those caught up in the global surveillance net cast by the National Security Agency and its overseas partners, from social media users to foreign heads of state, now includes another entry: American lawyers.

'A top-secret document, obtained by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, shows that an American law firm was monitored while representing a foreign government in trade disputes with the United States. The disclosure offers a rare glimpse of a specific instance in which Americans were ensnared by the eavesdroppers, and is of particular interest because lawyers in the United States with clients overseas have expressed growing concern that their confidential communications could be compromised by such surveillance.

'The government of Indonesia had retained the law firm for help in trade talks, according to the February 2013 document. It reports that the N.S.A.’s Australian counterpart, the Australian Signals Directorate, notified the agency that it was conducting surveillance of the talks, including communications between Indonesian officials and the American law firm, and offered to share the information.'"

Link to Original Source
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Snowden Used Low-Cost Tool to Best N.S.A.

mendax mendax writes  |  about 6 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, 'Intelligence officials investigating how Edward J. Snowden gained access to a huge trove of the country’s most highly classified documents say they have determined that he used inexpensive and widely available software to “scrape” the National Security Agency’s networks, and kept at it even after he was briefly challenged by agency officials.

Using “web crawler” software designed to search, index and back up a website, Mr. Snowden “scraped data out of our systems” while he went about his day job, according to a senior intelligence official. “We do not believe this was an individual sitting at a machine and downloading this much material in sequence,” the official said. The process, he added, was “quite automated.”

The findings are striking because the N.S.A.’s mission includes protecting the nation’s most sensitive military and intelligence computer systems from cyber attacks, especially the sophisticated attacks that emanate from Russia and China. Mr. Snowden’s “insider attack,” by contrast, was hardly sophisticated and should have been easily detected, investigators found.'"

Link to Original Source
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Warrantless Surveillance Challenged by Defendant

mendax mendax writes  |  about 5 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting that a "Colorado resident charged with terrorism-related offenses challenged the constitutionality on Wednesday of a 2008 law allowing the National Security Agency to conduct a sweeping program of surveillance without warrants on American soil. The challenge — the first of its kind — could lead to a Supreme Court test of the program.

"At the same time, a Federal District Court judge in Illinois ordered the government to show a defense lawyer classified materials related to the national security surveillance of his client. No defense lawyer has apparently ever been allowed to see such materials since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act was enacted in 1978.

"Together, the two actions are significant developments in efforts to obtain more judicial review of the legality of surveillance conducted on domestic soil for national security purposes amid continuing fallout from leaks about N.S.A. wiretapping by Edward J. Snowden, a former agency contractor.""

Link to Original Source
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Russia Plans to Extend Edward Snowden's Asylum

mendax mendax writes  |  about 6 months ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, "Russia plans to extend its offer of asylum to Edward J. Snowden beyond August, a Russian lawmaker said Friday at the World Economic Forum.... The lawmaker, Aleksei K. Pushkov, chairman of the foreign affairs committee in Russia’s lower house of Parliament, hinted during a panel discussion that the extension of temporary refugee status for Mr. Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, might be indefinite. “He will not be sent out of Russia,” Mr. Pushkov said. “It will be up to Snowden.”"
Link to Original Source
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Russia Issues Travel Warning to Its Citizens About United States and Extradition

mendax mendax writes  |  about a year ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times reports that the Russian government is warning its citizens to not travel to countries that have an extradition treaty with the United States, noting that "detentions of Russian citizens in various countries, at the request of American law enforcement, have become more frequent." The article reports the Russian foreign ministry as saying,"Experience shows that the judicial proceedings against those who were in fact kidnapped and taken to the U.S. are of a biased character, based on shaky evidence, and clearly tilted toward conviction.""
Link to Original Source
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Warrantless Cellphone Tracking Is Upheld

mendax mendax writes  |  about a year ago

mendax (114116) writes "The New York Times is reporting, "In a significant victory for law enforcement, a federal appeals court on Tuesday said that government authorities could extract historical location data directly from telecommunications carriers without a search warrant. The closely watched case, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, is the first ruling that squarely addresses the constitutionality of warrantless searches of historical location data stored by cellphone service providers. Ruling 2 to 1, the court said a warrantless search was 'not per se unconstitutional' because location data was 'clearly a business record' and therefore not protected by the Fourth Amendment.'" The article pointed out that this went squarely against a New Jersey Supreme Court opinion rendered earlier this month but noted that the state court's ruling was based upon the text of the state's constitution, not that of the federal constitution."
Link to Original Source

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