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Comments

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Eric Schmidt: Our Perception of the Internet Will Fade

nmb3000 Re:Switch off; turn on! (228 comments)

This might be the first time I've thought we need a "+1, Offtopic" moderation option.

about a week ago
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PHP vs. Node.js: the Battle For Developer Mind Share

nmb3000 Re:Node.js vs PHP? (245 comments)

That sounds more like a generation conflict between the fad-riding hipster son and his blue collar dad who often cuts corners.

FTFY.

about two weeks ago
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Unbundling Cable TV: Be Careful What You Wish For

nmb3000 Re:In other words ... (448 comments)

This is called Win-Win. Its how the free market works.

Ah, Slashdot. Where the grits are hot, Natalie Portman is petrified, and price gouging is considered Win-Win.

A "fair price" and "the highest possible price the majority of people are willing to pay" are not synonyms.

When consumers don't feel like every corporation they do business with is a leech trying to gorge itself on as much of their blood as possible, they'll probably be willing to do more business in general. When it comes to cable TV, people are cutting the cord not just because they feel it's overpriced, but because they're sick and tired of feeling like they're being fleeced with a dull razor every month when they get their bill.

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

nmb3000 Re:Evidence? (463 comments)

ads posing as real software, e.g. when you Google X and the first couple links are sketchy versions of Y pretending to be X, or when you get to the actual download page but the big green "Download" link is actually an ad which downloads some BS executable

Oh, god, you have no idea how much this pisses me off. I've had a few family members get bitten by this when I've suggested they get VLC or Firefox. The bastards at Google allow people to purchase ads for these high-profile FOSS software project names and then they serve up malware.

I thought they'd stopped doing it, but checking now I see searching for both Firefox and VLC still show these links. And some morons still don't understand why people block ads.

about three weeks ago
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Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets

nmb3000 Re:Dupe (840 comments)

Jamie goes to replace the battery in a Dodge Stratus they purchased and has to take one of the wheels off in order to access it

Not quite that bad, but I have an older Chevy Lumina and in order to replace the battery you have to

- remove a front-end crossbar, the bolts of which have about a 50% chance of being welded to the chassis with rust
- remove the windshield washer reservoir, which involves removing the pump that's attached at the bottom of the container (without spilling too much fluid on the battery)
- remove a bracket from overtop the batter which is connected to the chassis under the air filter housing, requiring at least a 10-inch wrench extender (12" is better)
- remove another bracket that holds the battery in place, also fixed with a bolt located 10 inches down a tiny hole.
- wrestle the battery out past the main fuse/distribution box, which it barely fits past without breaking it
- repeat the process in reverse with new battery

Here's a picture. It's a nightmare.

It's so bad I found several sites online describing the process and mocking the designers of the vehicle. I understand that space is at a premium under the hood, but FFS, this is just bad.

about three weeks ago
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Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked

nmb3000 Re:How about educating your dumbfuck mother? (463 comments)

The most common attack vector for this particular malware and many like it is email attachments.

That was true 4-6 years ago, but not today. Now we're seeing most of this stuff getting installed via zero-day exploits in browsers and plugins like Java and Flash, and distributed via third-party advertising networks. It's a lot harder to blame someone for getting compromised via a browser plugin they didn't even know they had.

The best protection these days is still to block all advertising, run with limited permissions, and have automated external backups with versioning. If the user is capable, blocking all third-party scripting is also incredibly effective.

It's 2015 anyone in the world can still send an email with file attachments to anyone using whatever FROM address they'd like without any prior trust relationship, vetting or authorization by receiver.

You just listed some of the best features of email.

It is *our* fault for installing AV software and going back to picking our noses

Now this is true. Antivirus software has been a joke for a decade.

about three weeks ago
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Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

nmb3000 Re:Waste (170 comments)

I somehow lost the last line of my reply.

[...] that doesn't mean everyone agrees that it's a good idea, or that there's not something more practically beneficial to spend it on.

about a month ago
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Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

nmb3000 Re:Waste (170 comments)

Indeed. I'm sure you give all your excess money to charity rather than buy yourself a TV, DVDs, go to a restaurant or on vacation.

Interesting false equivalence. Ignoring the fact that I said nothing about how much money he should give to charity, do you really equate a $400 television and a few $12 DVDs to a $70,000,000 house?

about a month ago
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Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

nmb3000 Re:Waste (170 comments)

Look at the billions and billions and billions that have been sunk into Africa... still for the most part, a crappy sinkhole of money and poverty that isn't getting better. It will get better when they pull themselves up and actually start improving their own lives.

Ah, the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" myth. Who knows -- perhaps once the majority of Africans have overthrown brutal despots, eradicated malaria and other diseases, and found reliable clean water they'll be able to start working on that.

A crazy amount of money is given to charity every year, and yet the problem doesn't go away.

How much time, money, and effort did it take to build a prospering American country and society -- from a largely empty land brimming with natural resources? Oh, and, how much of that came from Europe? "Self-made", indeed.

about a month ago
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Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

nmb3000 Re:Waste (170 comments)

Or does your outrage only apply to rich people?

Oops, I think you tipped over your own straw man with that last remark.

There's no outrage in my post, and I think it's very telling that the examples you chose: a computer (which I use to earn a living), a car (which I use to get to stores to buy necessities), and a phone (really? [and it isn't even a smartphone]) actually are necessities for myself as well as the vast majority of people today.

Notch can literally eat his piles of cash for all I care. My point was simply that at some point you pass a level of wanton extravagance that you venture into a realm of wasteful absurdity. Our culture won't punish you for buying a $250,000 cell phone case, but that doesn't mean everyone agrees that it's a good idea.

about a month ago
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Minecraft Creator Notch's $70 Million Mansion Recreated In Minecraft

nmb3000 Waste (170 comments)

It's his money to spend and I wouldn't stand in his way, but what a waste. Makes you wonder what kind of good could have been done or how many lives could have been saved with that $70 million.

about a month ago
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2014 Geek Gift Guide

nmb3000 Re:The best gift? (113 comments)

Personally, I miss the ohnoitsbennett tag that used to get applied to all his submissions. I still tag his walls-of-text with it, but I think it's been blacklisted along with most of the other fun tags.

about a month and a half ago
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Twitter Use By Romney and Obama In 2012 Highlight the Speed of Social Media

nmb3000 Re:Nice to have tech-savvy Administration (47 comments)

This "article" (scare quotes very much intended) is about social media, not technology or being tech-savvy. One has absolutely nothing to do with the other -- in fact, there's probably substance to an argument that they're somewhat opposites.

It's akin to saying someone is very skilled and more creative at using toilet paper -- and then bemoan that they're a pretty poor plumber.

about 2 months ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

nmb3000 Re:So close, so far (561 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.

about 2 months ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

nmb3000 Re:So close, so far (561 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! :)

about 2 months ago
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Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player

nmb3000 Re:No longer a day one purchase (473 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.

about 2 months ago
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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 2 months ago
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Mozilla Updates Firefox With Forget Button, DuckDuckGo Search, and Ads

nmb3000 Re:Can't wait for this! (327 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 3 months ago

Submissions

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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?"
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nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  about 8 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.""
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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."
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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."

Journals

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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...

Hmm.

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Autism Quotient

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  about 8 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.

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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 [slashdot.org] 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.

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Slashdot Moderation at Work - Part II

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 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.

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Slashdot Moderation at Work

nmb3000 nmb3000 writes  |  more than 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.

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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.

Sure:

"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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