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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

nmb3000 Re:So close, so far (537 comments)

Holy hell, Slashdot.

#commentlisting li {
    list-style: none outside none;
    margin: 0 0;

Well that's just beautiful. Take the effort to add bullets and instead get a massive wall of text. Thanks.

2 days ago

"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

nmb3000 Re:So close, so far (537 comments)

We have come so far since feminism began, but then stuff like this still happens... How could anyone, in 2014, have thought this was acceptable?

I can't help but feel like this whole thing is getting horribly blown out of proportion, more than likely due to a SJW invasion (does it have some absurd hash tag yet?)

I haven't read the book, but based on TFA:

  • It looks like they decided to put Barbie in a design position with other people doing the actual computer programming. This is not unusual in the real world.
  • The roles of designers and developers are in some many polar opposites. Is it that hard to believe that the female brain might often be better at aesthetics, usability, gameplay, and what the target audience (which, based on "cute puppies and colored blocks", sounds predisposed towards younger girls) thinks would be fun? And perhaps the male brain is better at abstract logic and systems interaction? I'm not saying everyone falls into those buckets, just that it's common. And from what I've seen on the job, this is not unusual in the real world.
  • The two programmers Barbie enlists happen to be male. Since a large majority of software developers in the world are male (especially in school), this is not that unusual.
  • The side-story about the computer virus is absurd, but it just sounds like it was written by someone who doesn't know anything about computers or viruses, other than what they hear on the evening news ("A new lethal computer virus is sweeping the globe, deleting files and murdering kittens! Film at 11." The portrayal of computer maladies in fiction is pretty bad in general, so this is also not that unusual.
  • Finally, this is Barbie FFS. Anyone who buys into that franchise and expects cutting-edge challenge of social norms is just self-deluded (might explain the attraction to SJWs...).

All in all, it looks like a cutesy little story written by someone who knows almost nothing about computers, probably has no interest in computers themselves, and subconciously wrote the story around their personal experiences of (1) most computer geeks are male, (2) computer viruses are scary, and (3) "it's Barbie, so who's going to really give a damn?"

This kind of stuff just isn't worth the heartache and venom people are throwing at it. Take a breath, put it in perspective, and move on.

(Besides, what people should be up in arms over is the picture of Tux on the front cover! A virus taking over Linux? Inconceivable! :)

2 days ago

Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

nmb3000 Re:No longer a day one purchase (468 comments)

Yeah, as it turns out, "from time to time" means (in the dev's words): "At the moment it's whenever you need to conduct a server moderated transaction like trading." and "The servers handle more than just the data, they handle all the key processes for interaction in the game, so trading, mission generation and background simulation to name a few."

Oh hey, so it's exactly like every other MMO, including WoW. The client is basically a dumb terminal which renders graphics and plays sound, but as soon as you do something like sell to a vendor, or cast a spell or use an ability, a check is fired off to the server to make sure that your character is in a valid state to perform those actions, and then the result of the actions are sent back to the client for rendering. To do it any other way is just inviting people to cheat.

From what I can tell, their "single player" sounds more like the normal MMO, except that you can't see any other players even though their actions continue to have an effect on the game world. Seems like they're using baldfaced lies to do damage control.

4 days ago

Philae's Batteries Have Drained; Comet Lander Sleeps

nmb3000 Sad (337 comments)

When you stop and think about the fact that the Rosetta project was launched over ten years ago (something I didn't realize until recently), it's hard not to feel sorry for the scientists and others on the project.

The statements the ESA is putting out have a positive spin on them (for multiple reasons, I'm sure), but at the end of the day this has got to be a pretty hard blow to the people personally invested in the project. After the effort required just to get it launched and a decade of waiting, it must be hard on them. Wish them the best of luck for a second chance when the comet nears the Sun.

about a week ago

Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

nmb3000 Re:Can't wait for this! (308 comments)

What is Firefox thinking? From the last paragraph in the article: "Firefox users should 'expect a lot more experimentation in advertising,' Mozilla Senior Engineering Manager Gavin Sharp told VentureBeat."

If you want to raise your blood pressure and really ruin your outlook of Firefox's future, go read some of Gavin Sharp's comments on various Bugzilla bugs. Seeing the justification for the removal of features and the addition of toxic features ruins my day every time I'm driving there to try and understand why something changed.

Gavin and the others like him that simply want to turn Firefox into Mini-Chrome are the biggest threat to Firefox today.

about two weeks ago

Blizzard Announces Overwatch, a First-Person Shooter

nmb3000 Re:Team Fortress (183 comments)

Looks like team fortress 2, albeit with less hats.

I kinda got a feel of TF2 + World of Warcraft, at least for gameplay and art direction. The energy/magic effects, armor style, and voice acting were very WoW while the combat, classes, cartoony cell-shading, and gameplay looked very much like TF2. There's a damned Gnome building a sentry gun FFS.

I'd guess it will be one of those games that's poorly received (or completely flops) because it's really just a conglomeration of ideas from previously successful games and most players will get a strong feel of "been there, done that." Whatever happens, hopefully they can avoid the horrible micro-monetization that's poisoned TF2 but knowing Activition-Blizzard that seems unlikely.

about two weeks ago

How Poor Punctuation Can Break Windows

nmb3000 Re:Yawn (94 comments)

While this article did kinda make me roll my eyes, it's not quite as simple as that.

The basic idea they're saying is that if a user can create a directory with an arbitrary name (which is normal for a file-server), and that later on an Admin runs a maintenance script which doesn't quote input correctly, arbitrary user commands can be executed with administrative permissions.

So user does:

D:\Users\b\bob123> md "Foo&evil_command"

Days, weeks, months later, an admin decides to run a cleanup/repoting batch file that was written in 1996:

D:\Users> C:\Scripts\cleanup.bat

If the script descends into the filesystem and somewhere in that script is the line: SET CurDir=%CD%, then the effective command SET CurDir=Foo&evil_command is executed.

The end result is that evil_command is invoked by the admin. If the admin is a domain admin and that command happened to be net localgroup "Domain Admins" domain\bob123 /domain, then bob has just been added to the Domain Admins group.

It's an absurdly tiny problem compared to the Bash shell exploit, but it is in fact a violation of security boundaries. Raymond's airtight hatchway stories are when no boundary has been crossed.

about a month and a half ago

2014 Nobel Prize In Physics Awarded To the Inventors of the Blue LED

nmb3000 Re:As well they should. (243 comments)

Any particular reason you linked back to this very article

He just messed up and made the link relative.

Green Light Drives Leaf Photosynthesis More Efficiently than Red Light in Strong White Light: Revisiting the Enigmatic Question of Why Leaves are Green

IANAB, but I think the crux of this article is on the phrase "in strong white light".

Because green light can penetrate further into the leaf than red or blue light, in strong white light,
any additional green light absorbed by the lower chloroplasts would increase leaf photosynthesis to a
greater extent than would additional red or blue light.

So perhaps green light is more effective outdoors, but in an environment only lit by artificial light, green light is probably not the most effective (unless maybe you use both a powerful white light AND a green light?).

about a month and a half ago

CloudFlare Announces Free SSL Support For All Customers

nmb3000 Re:CloudFlare is a nightmare for anonymity (67 comments)

CloudFlare is a nightmare for anonymity

Not only anonymity, but privacy as well.

Try browsing around with your browser's Referer header disabled (or spoofed to be empty/google/etc). You'll run into sites that either (1) won't load at all, only showing a "CloudFlare security page" that totally blocks access, or (2) have content that won't load due to CloudFlare's default referrer blocking settings. I assume (2) is to prevent "hotlinking" (aka - "using the Web"), but it prevents scripts, styles, etc from loading. However the first behavior (blocking anyone without a Referer header) is complete bullshit.

Using NoScript on a CloudFlare site can also be a nightmare. They have their own absolutely batshit absurd scripting thing call Rocket Loader. The only impression I've gotten from it so far is that it makes script whitelisting difficult and user-scripts even worse.

I can appreciate the primary selling points of CloudFlare (CDN, DDoS protection), but they do a lot more to interfere with site web traffic. The default settings for a site are also probably too aggressive.

about 2 months ago

It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

nmb3000 Re:His Dark Materials? (410 comments)

and like to provide some "opt-out" choices

I miss the CowboyNeal option :(

about 2 months ago

Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

nmb3000 Perspective (323 comments)

It's nice Apple responded, but the outrage over this whole thing (especially for people who have already bought into the iTunes garden) seems way overblown.

Some perspective might help.

about 2 months ago

Why Atheists Need Captain Kirk

nmb3000 Re:No, no. Let's not go there. Please. (937 comments)

Atheism is the lack of belief in a god or god. Nothing else.

Ideally, yes, but we all know that that's not all there is to it these days.

Only because theists have done everything in their power to change the common meaning of the word "atheist". It's so much easier to persecute someone if you can twist their stance into being the exact opposite of your own because this allows you to set up "us versus them" and "attack on our way of life" straw men.

It doesn't help that for many people (in English anyway), the phrase "I do not believe X" has come to be equal to "I believe against X". Declaration of a lack of a thing does not, in any way, declare that you hold to its antithesis. It's this crucial point that theists miss -- some due to ignorance, but most due to an explicit intent to mislead.

Of course, this applies to topics other than (a)theism, and is pretty much the standard MO of most conservative pundits. Why have a rational discussion when you can fabricate a one-sided fight instead?

about 2 months ago

Steve Ballmer Authored the Windows 3.1 Ctrl-Alt-Del Screen

nmb3000 Re:Hexidecimal (169 comments)

Did he also decide to produce the Hex output that is entirely useless and without merit? I understand that's for debugging purposes, but who decided that was a good idea to leave in for a consumer-level OS? Seriously.

Ah yes. Everyone should have to set up a second machine, connect it to the other via a serial cable (having remembered to enable serial port debugging on the host prior to the crash), and then fire up their kernel debugger just to get the bugcheck code.

Putting a numeric error code (which usually comes with the symbolic name as well) on a consumer-facing fatal error is absolutely the correct thing to do. Once you've reached the kernel panic failure point there's not much most consumers can do anyway, so providing some diagnostic information can't hurt anything. If you don't then you may as well just restart the machine and not bothering to show an error at all. That sure sounds friendly.

about 3 months ago

Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media

nmb3000 Honeypots (220 comments)

A lot of interesting and infamous material ends up on 4chan, some of which might be illegal in certain jurisdictions for reasons ranging from copyright infringement to child pornography.

Have any of the 4chan staff/admins think they've found a real honeypot on the site created by a government or corporation with the intent to prosecute or harass 4chan users (or the site/owners itself)? If so, what actions did you take?

about 3 months ago

Interview: Ask Christopher "moot" Poole About 4chan and Social Media

nmb3000 Buyout offers (220 comments)

4chan has been a popular high-trafic site for a while now. I'm curious: how many buyout offers have you received from outside parties? Who were they and how much did they offer?

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

nmb3000 Re:Not quite old but... (635 comments)

You should be careful -- you're well on your way (if not there already) of becoming infamous around here. We've already got APK, "Guardian of the Hosts File". We certainly don't need narcc, "Defender of Chromifox".

about 3 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

nmb3000 Not quite old but... (635 comments)

Firefox 28 (with tabs-on-bottom if you please), Windows 7, and Linux with Gnome 2 (aka MATE).

I'm basically just holding out with old (or "old") software to avoid the current plague of horrible user interface design. The entire "UX designer" movement we're seeing right now is nothing more than a user-hostile circle jerk, doing the perpetuating the same ideas because everyone else is doing it. It's frankly a cancer upon computing, and my only hope is that we eventually see enough pushback from users that the morons at Mozilla, Microsoft, Google and elsewhere realize their mistake, fire all the useless UX blowhards, go back to real usability studies, and let us all get on with a life where we won't always worry that clicking "update" will almost certainly royally fuck everything up.

about 3 months ago

The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released

nmb3000 Such a Waste (156 comments)

After the travesty of the first two films, I'm not looking forward to the third movie.

While far from perfect, I felt that Peter Jackson at least made an attempt to stay true to the original story in Lord of the Rings. For the Hobbit he didn't hold anything back as sold out to the suits at Warner Brothers. Both he and the Tolkien family should be ashamed they agreed to this abortion screenplay.

about 4 months ago

The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

nmb3000 Re:Turing test not passed. (285 comments)

It was passed as defined

The Turing Test was not passed, and the only people who claim it was are ignorant reporters looking for an easy story with a catchy headline and tech morons who also believe Kevin Warwick is a cyborg.

The test was rigged in every way possible:

- judges told they were talking to a child
- that doesn't speak English as a primary language
- which was programmed with the express intent of misdirection
- and only "fooled" 30% of the judges.

And, even after all that, Cleverbot did a much better job back in 2011 with a 60% success rate.

This Eugene test outcome was a complete farce -- something to remind everyone that Warwick still exists and to separate the ignorant and sensational tech news trash rags from the more legitimate sources of information.

about 4 months ago



nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

nmb3000 writes "Apparently some schools and teachers in the United Kingdom are more concerned about offending their students than teaching them history. Specifically, schools are dropping subject such as the Holocaust to avoid "upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial." Other parts of history some schools are removing are the Crusades, and the conflict-filled history of the state of Israel. If "those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it", what does that mean for future generations who never learned of it?"

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

nmb3000 (741169) writes "There has always been a separation between PC games and their cousins on game consoles, and one of these defining barriers has been the inability to play networked games that mix PC and console clients together into a seamless cross-platform experience. It seems, however, that this may be about to change with a new lineup of games coming of Windows Vista in 2007. Microsoft recently announced at CES that games for Vista utilizing DirectX 10 will be able to connect and participate fully in Xbox Live's services. This includes online game play and all related features such as voice communication. This means popular online games such as Halo 2's multiplayer will no longer be limited to console owners; from the article: "In addition, "Halo® 2" for Windows Vista (Microsoft Game Studios/Bungie Studios) will also support Live, including enabling Windows gamers to communicate with Xbox Live gamers and earn Achievements in the famed "Halo 2" campaign — a first for any "Halo" title on any platform.""

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

nmb3000 writes "Raymond Chen of the Old New Thing points out that disaster was recently averted due to international time zones. Yisrayl Hawkins, the leader of The House of Yahweh, predicted September 12th 2006 as the day of nuclear war between North Korea and the United States. Now three days later, Hawkins explains that "a nuclear war between the US and North Korea only failed to kick off Tuesday as expected due to difference in international time zones." Unperturbed as always, Hawkins' website now warns, "-3 days remaining before the start of nuclear war". I don't know about you, but I'm stocking up on Twinkies and Bawls."

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

nmb3000 (741169) writes "CNN is reporting that Crocodile Hunter Steve Irwin was killed by a string ray off Australian coast. While filming a new movie about deadly creatures, Irwin was swimming along the coast when a stingray hidden in the sand thrust it's barb into his chest, and through his heart. Only 44, Irwin was killed almost immediately by what's been described as a "freak accident". When considering his life and work at his zoo and the Australian outback, it is ironic to note that deaths from stingrays are incredibly uncommon, with only 17 recorded fatalities in Australia since 1969. Included with the article are several videos detailing the incident and public reaction."



Mod Points Gone Wild

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

So this is odd enough I figured I'd make a note of it. I'm aware that the way the Slashdot moderation gremlins decide who gets points how often is veiled in secrecy, but still, does anyone have any ideas about this?

I've had an active Slashdot account for a while now. At the beginning I got mod points now and then, no big deal. When my karma hit excellent, I got them a little more often maybe. Okay.

Then about two years ago, they just stopped dead. My karma stayed the same, my posting, site visitation, and metamod habits stayed the same. I have notifications on to tell me about metamods who disagree with my mods and never saw very many of those. For some unknown reason I just stopped getting mod points completely.

Now, all of a sudden last Thursday or so (the 15th), out of the blue, I see that I have 5 mod points. Wow! I spent 4 of them I think and let the last one expire. The day after they expired, 5 more points. I spend all of them I think. The day after they were set to expire, today, bam! -- 5 more points.

It's just odd. I get blacklisted from moderating (I assume) and then out of nowhere get 15 points in some 9 days dumped on me. Did I piss off an editor (I have made fun of a few... it's too easy sometimes) and get an arbitrary 20-ish month ban on modding which has run its course? Seems unlikely, but...



Autism Quotient

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Saw this in Kymermosst's journal.

I find it hard to believe anything a 50-question test tells me, but here's the idea:

Psychologist Simon Baron-Cohen and his colleagues at Cambridge's Autism Research Centre have created the Autism-Spectrum Quotient, or AQ, as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger's report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.

I scored a 35.

Sure it's clichéd, but clichés usually have basis in fact: I'd guess that most people on Slashdot score slightly higher than average. Based on the questions, it seems many people interested in technology and engineering may be slightly autistic, being detail-oriented and slightly to largely unsocial.

Or it's just me.


Slashdot's 1337 new look

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I posted this in another discussion, but figured I'd copy it here for kicks.


if you don't like it then tell us some specifics on why you don't like it!

Very well. Here's what I've got so far.

    - First up: Big pages load and render SLOW. Pages with a large number of comments like this one [] make IE crap it's pants
    - I don't want it to blockquote something when I explicitly use <i> (like in this entry--it didn't use to do that, did it?)
    - Score and 'Read More' on the right away from other relevant information.
    - The 'Sections' link is worthless and annoying.
    - Spacing in IE is flunky. Various elements don't line up with others. Yes, it's probably IE's fault, but you can't ignore IE.
    - Links in the navigational menus (left and top) have different colors for visited/not visited. Looks better if they are the same and it doesn't really matter if you've clicked them before.
    - Comments are not indented enough.
    - Arrows on left-hand menu get out of sync easily.
    - Method of changing item color (gray/green) in left-hand menu is slow in IE.
    - Element spacing on User page blows in IE.
    - YRO is still ugly as sin.
    - The menu that opens when you click 'Sections' is a nasty kludge. It's way too slow to open, closes by reloading the page (real stupid).
    - The boxes containing "what is this" blurbs in Preferences are too big and conspicuous. They're supposed to be a subtle help, not obfuscate the main content.
    - IT is still puts Janet Reno to shame.
    - Comment headers (containing the subject) seem too big and waste space.
    - It'd be nice if there was some indication the little arrows were clickable (like using the pointer cursor).
    - The 'Sections' section closes after going into a section, regardless of its previous status. Annoying if you're browsing sections.
    - An old bug still exists where the content of a page will sometimes start a full page lower than it should in IE. Stories and user pages are affected.
    - Bad things usually happen if you click the Sections header after IE starts navigating to another page.
    - Simple Design option + the Sections header box = nasty.
    - Too much whitespace. Reduce it or perhaps go with a real light gray in areas.
    - I miss OMG Ponies! Really.

Personally, I think we should get the option to use the old template.

George Lucas raped my childhood and CSS raped Slashdot *cry*


The new design does feel a little 'cleaner' but I think the problems significantly overshadow the advantages. And I know that plenty of people will proclaim "to hell with IE, standards are all that matter!" The problem is you can't just ignore a browser with it's market share.

Anyway, fun fun.


Slashdot Moderation at Work - Part II

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  about 9 years ago

So perhaps it wasn't the most Slashdot-friendly thing to say, but I said it anyway. What do I get in payment? Some dumbass with mod points decided that my comment was soooo inflammatory that they used their points marking my last 5 comments "Overrated". I suppose I should be flattered that I got the troll to spend all their points on little old me.

In the end they accomplished nothing, so I'm not sure if I really should be irritated. The only thing that bugs me about it is that while I've had Excellent karma for over a year now and I metamoderate on a regular basis, I haven't seen mod points for the last 6 months, yet morons like this apparently still get them. I suppose it comes down to hoping that there is some system (there certainly should be) that monitors moderations and takes some action if a user uses all their points on negative moderations. This goes double for Overrated mods which bypass review by metamoderators.

Oh well.


Slashdot Moderation at Work

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  about 9 years ago

Don't bother with the journal much, but thought this was worth noting.

I love the Slashdot crowd's perdictable nature. I posted this comment about 30 hours ago knowing very well that it's score would bounce around some, and would probably come to rest either at 1 or 0. I had no idea how much it would really move.

Right now it's at +2, Funny without a karma bonus, however it's not been an easy ride having been at both +4 and -1 two different times each. I decided to watch it as close as I could for a while and from what I was able to tell, it's moderation went about like this:

1 (Initial posting)
2 (+1 Funny)
3 (+1 Funny)
4 (+1 Funny)
3 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
2 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
1 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
0 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
-1 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
0 (+1 Funny)
1 (+1 Funny)
2 (+1 Funny)
3 (+1 Funny)
4 (+1 Funny)
3 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
2 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
1 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
0 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
-1 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
0 (-1 Overrated/Troll)
1 (+1 Funny)
2 (+1 Funny) (current)

It's bounced around a fair bit and based on the age of the article I bet it won't move much more. What I thought was interesting was that in the course of all this 21 mod points have been spent just to juggle a sarcastic comment about Bush around.

Anyway, I just found it interesting.


Page 23 Continued

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Just saw this in Kymermosst's Journal and figured it was reason enough to post for the first time in my /. journal.

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Turn to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.


"The Times."

I've got a shiny nickel for anyone that can tell me what book that came from. I'll post the name in a while I guess.

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