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Comments

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The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

orgelspieler Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (596 comments)

I've wondered about the bulbs I got for the can lights in my kitchen. They specifically say they're rated for can mount, but I'll be surprised if they last more than a year. The CFLs supposedly rated for can lights only lasted 6-8 months. I assume that was a thermal issue, since two different brands had the same lifespan. I love the color of the newer white LEDs, waaay better than CFLs.

5 days ago
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Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running

orgelspieler Re:These people are doing it to themselves (904 comments)

You are wrong. You may know whether you have paid or not, but the little computer telling your car not to start doesn't. There is a used car dealership in the Houston area well known for having these installed on their cars. They apparently have a high frequency of false positives. They always attribute it to problems with their database, but I suspect they just have lazy people doing their accounting.

about a week ago
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How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

orgelspieler Re:Whoosh (97 comments)

They were the primary choice for sharing photos amongst photographers back before Yahoo! bought them out. Yahoo! systematically destroyed everything that the photographers liked. At every turn they ignored the feedback of PAYING users. Some of the most talented artists dropped out and went to deviantart, or some others I can't remember the name of. These days they switch to Facebook, or just started hosting their own photos.

Exploring new artists became challenging and tedious. It seemed like the only way to make the front page was to have some washed out HDR crap. The community has dwindled dramatically; maybe not in numbers, but the sense of actually belonging to a community of like-minded artists has certainly faded. I hardly post, and most of my contacts hardly post anymore either. I primarily use it for a place to keep family photos instead of my art photography.

about two weeks ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

orgelspieler Re:I've never understood this... (981 comments)

Why you gotta drag Texas Republicans into this? It's not like they're any worse than any other deep red state.

about two weeks ago
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Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed

orgelspieler Re:Poor Math Skills (171 comments)

So "100% more" and "2 times more" both mean "double"? My understanding when I was learning word problems many, many moons ago was that "N times more" means (N+1)*original value. On the other hand "N times as much/many" meant N*original value. Are they teaching it differently these days? Not trying to be cheeky, just concerned that the language has changed without me knowing it.

The phrase "three times less" is frequently used to mean "one third of," but it is ambiguous. I don't think there's much consensus anymore on whether it's acceptable practice or not. I personally hate it, but I've even seen it on word problems from major test makers.

But really in general reporting, there are much more egregious math/science mistakes, like "exponential," where using the wrong phrase leads to a misrepresentation of the facts, not just a misunderstanding of semantics. Another common problem is when talking about probability things. I have heard respectable people say "most people ..." when referring to, say, 40%. Let's focus on these blatant errors first, then we can move on to bad units like "volts of energy." These are all things I'm sure everybody on /. can agree to hate.

about three weeks ago
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California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

orgelspieler Re:hmmmm (275 comments)

My favorite bad review response ever:

Review:

Incredibly rude disgusting fat slob insulted me and my family. Needed a table for five wife and kids in line midway to counter, I decide to sit down (just had hip replacement) and this idiot approaches and tells me to order or get out. This punk needs for someone to adjust his attitude.

Response from the owner:

This is the fat slob. I wanted to put some context around Mr Scaccia's review. First, no disputting it, I'm fat. I take issue with the rude and slob parts. I shower every day. I say please and thank you. But, fat, unfortunately I can't dispute that.

OK, let's talk about our interaction yesterday. I was in the dining room as I am almost every Saturday and Sunday when we start to get really busy. We had a medium sized line (probably about 15 people) and we were seating groups as they ordered so that everyone could get a table before they get their food. I call it Kindergarten rules. if someone is in front of you, they get to go first. I came around the corner and Mr S was at a table that had been put together for 8 people as was a man caring a baby carrier who was also looking for a table for a larger group. I asked Mr S if he had ordered yet and he said he hadn't and I told him that we would get him a table once his group had ordered.

I couldn't get anything more out of my mouth. Mr S said "well if we can't have a table then we will just leave." I did not approach Mr. S and tell him to order or get out, I said that we would get him a table once his group had ordered. After he proclaimed that if he didn't get a table right then that he would leave, I told him to have a nice day.

This really isn't a position I ever like to be put in. We don't have a line to the door every saturday and sunday because we are bad at what we do. The line is there because we take care of our customers and all their requests, just as we would have taken care of Mr. S. I was still going to try to save this relationship, but what Mr. S did next shocked me so much that I froze. He threw his menu on the table, moved toward me and belly bumped me out of his way and stormed off. (I'm not sure if he noticed the video camera that hopefully caught all of this directly next to the flat screen in the corner as he pushed me out of his way)

I then proceeded to help the group of 8 with the baby and the group of 7 with the elderly couple who had waited in line and ordered, get their tables after they had ordered, as I did for the next hour and a half every other large group who walked in and calmly waited in our long but quickly moving line. I wish I had a much bigger restaurant and a much smaller stomach but the facts are the facts.

Mr S would have hopefully spent this morning back in Louisiana writing a great review about this little mom and pop restaurant in Houston if he had only let us do our job, but he chose to give me an ultimatum where I can't win. Let him take a table before two groups who were in front of him, making a family with small children and a baby stand and wait or the group with the elderly couple stand and wait. I feel I did the only thing I could and wish Mr. S the opportunity to reflect on this situation and see the big picture.

Brock Silverstein Pecan Creek Grille

about three weeks ago
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Newly Discovered Asteroid To Pass Within Geostationary Orbit Sunday

orgelspieler Haleakala (101 comments)

typo in summary

about a month ago
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Net Neutrality Campaign To Show What the Web Would Be Like With a "Slow Lane"

orgelspieler Re:Boycott (91 comments)

Why not just do a mass cancellation of service and show these corps that we have that control over them? We all have internet on our phones

Do I really need to spell this out for you? I'll give you a hint. It rhymes with corn. It is also the most common answer to any question having to do with the internet.

about a month ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

orgelspieler Re:Little Boxes (579 comments)

My wife says, "Men are waffles. Women are spaghetti." But as for Wikipedia not lending itself to flow, you've never played the random walk game. Start on a Wikipedia page, click the nth link on that page. Say the third link that's not a pronunciation or disambiguation link. Go from there. You'll be surprised how you can go from Pokemon to Pipe Organs in the same walk. [citation needed]

I think it's a fun way to waste a lunch hour when there's not good articles on /.

about a month ago
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Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia

orgelspieler Re:Obvious Reason (579 comments)

Sounds like a bad Wikipedian did not follow some basic rules: Assume good faith (AGF); Please do not bite the newcomers (BITE); No personal attacks (NPA). These are very important, and your example illustrates why.

Allow me to apologize on behalf of my fellow Wikipedians. We police this sort of behavior as much as we can, but it becomes tiresome. We have lost many good editors over the years because of crap like this. It's sad.

about a month ago
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

orgelspieler Re:I got those calls every few days (251 comments)

I also like giving the phone to one of my children. It is down right hilarious to hear a 3 year old get fed up with these scammers, mine really likes to tell stories and eventually tell the scammer to "Stop talking now! I'm trying to tell you something!". My 6 year old is a much better communicator but is very inquisitive and will ask them all sorts of questions.

Damn. I wish my wife would let me do that. My 3yo girl can scream loud enough to make ears bleed. And my eldest is a question a second. I should just hand him the phone, and say, "hey, this guy wants you to tell him all about Minecraft, Rainbow Loom, and Pokemon!!"

about a month ago
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

orgelspieler Re:Scambaiter sites are NSFW (251 comments)

I had a Nigerian coworker who was stunned (nearly offended) to find out that the rest of the world refers to it as a 419 scam. She then showed me a video of a crowd of people stoning an accused thief to death, while the police watched unable to stop it. So.... I guess she didn't call HR on me. :-)

about a month ago
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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

orgelspieler Re:Told ya... (207 comments)

Except the Stasi would not have had the capability to sift through 8 billion records, much less 850B. That's what's even scarier, they can search through this stuff so fast. In all the shit I've written over the years, I'm sure there's something to indict me on. And I'm a pretty clean-cut guy.

about a month ago
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850 Billion NSA Surveillance Records Searchable By Domestic Law Enforcement

orgelspieler Re:I do not know how you can laugh ... (207 comments)

'Sheriff flyneye, this is special agent Fredricks wanting to verify your login credentials for ICREACH. Our database shows that you still have the default password of "Password1" which should be changed immediately. ... Oh, OK. ... "kitty69"? ... Yes, that's acceptable. Sorry for the confusion.'

about a month ago
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Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

orgelspieler Re:What's so American (531 comments)

While I don't agree with you, I think it's improper that you have been modded troll. It is not trolling to expound an unpopular idea. You have some valid concerns that some of the arguments made in favor of NN could later be used to legitimize a second round of SOPA/PIPA style legislation. They've tried it before, and if we do not remain vigilant, they will certainly try again.

But I believe that the risks of gatekeepers like Comcast intentionally dicking with who gets to see what how fast. If we had true competition, I could get behind the libertarian ideals of "don't regulate companies too much." But in this instance, you get only one, maybe two if you're lucky, providers of high-speed DSL in an area. And in many areas, these guys are also the cable providers. Hell, mine even has it in the name: Consolidated. They are intentionally consolidating services. They claim it is to improve customer experience, but it's pretty obvious that their goal is jacking up rates as high as they can get away with.

Internet access (like the airwaves) is clearly an area where the risks of not regulating enough outweigh the risks of over-regulation. I think that corporations in America have proven time and again that they are worthy of even LESS trust than the bozos in DC. Especially in the case of an open and free Internet. It's not "What could go wrong?" It's "What is already going wrong?" Just look at the whole Netflix/Comcast protection racket if you have any doubts.

about a month ago
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Lizard Squad Bomb Threat Diverts Sony Exec's Plane To Phoenix

orgelspieler why divert? (131 comments)

So wait... it's OK if it blows up in Phoenix, but not in San Diego? Not sure I understand the logic of rerouting the flight.

about a month ago
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The 2014 Hugo Awards

orgelspieler Wait for it... (180 comments)

That's only part of the story. The forum is where all the real action was/is. There was/is a religion of sorts. Complete with popes, prophets and pilgrimages. And lingo. (Chirping mustard! The OTT is seaish. and cancercoffeesemenbabies). I assume it is still going, but I refuse to check. I lost a lot of time in that forum, and I had to make a clean break. There were many people whose RL relationships were strained because of this. People were up every hour checking the latest ONG. For those of you willing to go down the rabbit hole, you will want to read the thread from the beginning. That is called blizting. You will be encouraged along your way, and encounter many strange and wonderful things. Randallspeed.

about a month ago
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How Patent Trolls Destroy Innovation

orgelspieler Re:How the Patent System Destroys Innovation (97 comments)

I'm not entirely sure how this got modded insightful. The patent system is certainly not built upon owning an idea. They cover a particular implementation, a certain solution to a problem, not just an idea. If you invent a machine that makes unicorn farts, you can patent that machine. If I make a unicorn fart machine that operates in a different way, I am free to do so. Now the market has two different unicorn fart machine styles, and we are arguably better off as a society.

As an engineer with some hands on experience filing and working around patents, I can honestly say that a large part of the patent system still works as intended. I believe inventors should be protected, especially when it's a David and Goliath situation, and patents still offer some of that protection. I also believe that the patent system encourages inventors in at least two ways. It lets you know that there is at least one solution to your problem, and that somebody thought it was worthwhile enough to patent it. It also forces an inventor to be more creative and come up with different solutions to the problem than what has already been done. Sometimes when you have to think of a different solution, you end up with a better solution.

That being said, I think business method patents are stupid, and that software patents are evil. And if you're going to file a patent on something, you sure as shit better not try to sue me on "trade secret" grounds. (yes, that actually happens)

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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University makes 80,000 Einstein documents publicly available

orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

orgelspieler writes "The Hebrew University of Jerusalem has scanned in some 80,000 of Albert Einstein's documents. According to the university's press release, the documents cover more than just scientific matters. The broad range of subjects include his solution to the Jewish-Arab conflict, a postcard to his mother, and a letter from one of his mistresses asking for assistance getting to America. Some documents have been translated and annotated and are completely searchable."
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Another fake paper slated for IEEE publication

orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

orgelspieler writes "Just last month we read about Herbert Schlangemann's acceptance to chair a session at an IEEE conference in China. He's at it again, and this time the paper was even reviewed by a human who said:

Accepted. Topic of this paper is related to this conference. This paper mainly studies on a methodology for the improvement of local-area networks. The author introduces a scalable tool for evaluating Internet QoS(PlusPug), which the author uses to prove that digital-to-analog converters and XML are regularly incompatible.

"
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What Makes a Good CIO?

orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 6 years ago

orgelspieler writes "A friend of mine is being considered for a promotion to CIO of his Fortune 500 company. He does not technically have any IT experience, but his current position requires that he makes many of the hardware and software decisions at his branch office. What would the Slashdot community look for in their ideal CIO? What technical skills and knowledge are absolutely required for somebody in that position? What sorts of policies would a perfect CIO try to implement?"
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IRENE Makes Old Sound Recordings Audible Again

orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 7 years ago

orgelspieler writes "NPR is running a story on a safe way to reproduce sound from ancient phonographs that would otherwise be unplayable. The system, called IRENE, was installed in the Library of Congress last year. It can be used to replay records that are scratched, worn, broken, or just too fragile to play with a needle. It scans the groves optically and processes them into a sound file at speeds approaching real time. IRENE is great at removing pops and skips, but can add some hiss. Researchers are also working on a 3D model that is better at removing hiss."
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orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 7 years ago

orgelspieler writes "According to The Consumerist, a budding UK photographer, Lara Jade Coton, took a self-portrait (SFW) at the tender age of fourteen. To her dismay, the photograph ended up on the cover of a porno flick. It seems that several of the sites selling the video have removed her photo, but there are still a few out there selling the infringing cover."
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orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 7 years ago

orgelspieler writes "NPR's Morning Edition ran a story this morning about how USB turntables are giving vinyl records a new lease on life. According to the summary, "audiophiles are drawn to records because there aren't any anti-piracy restrictions." The story goes on to talk about USB turntables being used to transfer older music collections into the digital era, leading to an increase in used vinyl sales. Most interestingly, sales of new vinyl albums are up about 10%. While the volume is still low (about 1 million units), it seems to punch a hole in the recording industry's theory that digitization leads to reduced sales due to piracy."
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orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 7 years ago

orgelspieler writes "As mentioned in several articles, the Texas Democratic Party filed a suit alleging flaws in the eSlate electronic voting machine. The Democrats claim that the chief election official was aware of the problems, but chose to ignore them. From the press release:

On the eSlate machines, when a voter chooses a straight-ticket vote and then continues to select candidates of the same political party to "emphasize" their vote, the machine actually records the vote for that race as a no vote. ... Additionally, the Secretary of State's office is required to test all voting machines used in Texas elections and knew of the irregularities related to the eSlate machines, which are manufactured by Hart Intercivic. Yet Secretary Williams allowed the machines to be used anyway.
Another straight-ticket problem was mentioned by the Travis County Clerk back in 2004. There have been other glitches as well."
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orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 7 years ago

orgelspieler writes "The Register is reporting on a recent study of 420,095 Danish cell phone users and 14,249 cancer cases. It concludes that cell phones do not increase the risk of brain tumors, or any other cancer. This is opposed to a Swedish study of smaller scope, discussed earlier.

From the study:
Conclusions: We found no evidence for an association between tumor risk and cellular telephone use among either short-term or long-term users. Moreover, the narrow confidence intervals provide evidence that any large association of risk of cancer and cellular telephone use can be excluded.
"
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orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 7 years ago

orgelspieler writes "According to the NYT, Justice Department Inspector General Glenn Fine has opened a review of his department's role in the domestic spying program. Democrats (and some Republicans) have been requesting an all out investigation into the legality of the so-called "Terrorist Surveillance Program" since it was made public. But this new inquiry stops short of evaluating the constitutional legitimacy of the program. From the article:
The review, Mr. Fine said in his letter, will examine the controls in place at the Justice Department for the eavesdropping, the way information developed from it was used, and the department's "compliance with legal requirements governing the program."
Needless to say, Democrats have their doubts about the timing of this announcement."

Journals

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Patron-polling jukebox

orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

So I had this idea while eating at a burger joint yesterday, but it seems like something that should exist already. If it does, I expect that the discussion will devolve into a Zune flamewar. If not, I hope to harness the sheer nerdpower of /. to make it happen.

When you go into a restaurant or other place of business, wouldn't it be nice if they were playing music that most of the people there enjoyed? It would make sense to have a music probe. I imagine it should check all the portable music players, cell phones, laptops in use, etc. and a) tally up what types of music were the most common, b) what genres and songs are liked the most, and c) see if there are any songs that are absolutely hated by any current patron in the facility. Perhaps it could be run in conjunction with one of those web music services that is good at predicting what people will like based on what they already like and dislike. This might also be useful for DJs at small events.

Obviously some people will cry foul, saying that it's an invasion of privacy. So there would need to be a way for those people to turn off the sharing option. There is also a problem with part c) above. Most people will delete a song from their portable player if they hate it. The biggest technical problem would be getting all the device manufacturers to agree to support a polling protocol.

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hotlinking and copyright infringement

orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 8 years ago Has anybody noticed this, but most of the people bitching about hotlinking are copyright infringing. I saw a minimally amusing switcheroo, but then I started thinking about it. I see everybody getting uptight about drawing a line between copyright infringement and theft, but nobody bats an eye at calling hotlinking "bandwith theft." What gives? Especially with this Doc guy. Half the images on his site are blatant copyright infringements. Yet he has the nerve to bitch about people "stealing" his bandwidth. Grow up and use .htaccess if you're really that worried about it. Fuck that guy.

My favorite is in the feedback section there's this omnedon guy who says he "lifted" a photo from a website (hello copyright violation), and then he turns around and sent a C&D to somebody for hotlinking one of his images (not copyright violation).

I'm tired of people trying to use copyright to bitch about hotlinking. who's copying anything? the person viewing the website, and the original server that has the linked image. guess what? both people have the right to copy.

idiots.

wrong? maybe. stupid? oh yeah. copyvio? doubt it. theft? not even close. if you don't want people viewing your shit with your bandwidth, don't let them. end of story. now quit your panzy-ass whining so i can get off this soapbox already.

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MySpace

orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 8 years ago

So my little brother introduced me to MySpace. It is a little scary. The only thing I had heard about it was that it was designed to be difficult to parse by adults. I guess that makes me an adult. The strangest things are there. My 16 year old cousin talks about dating some 21 year old. Random people that I haven't seen in a decade ask me how I'm doing. It's a bit like crack. But it's not as anonymous as /. so I don't feel as open and freewheeling as I do here. hmmm... odd. It's more connected, but I feel less open. What does that say about me? about our culture?

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orgelspieler orgelspieler writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Not that anybody really cares, but I'll be taking a break from /. for a while. I'm going to be doing a bit of work for the musipedia project. I encourage all you music lovers to do the same. (contribute to mp, that is)

Cheers!

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