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Comments

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How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

orgelspieler Re:We can't live without these things? (212 comments)

The windows don't open now.

The hell they don't. The problem is, when I'm done opening it, it can't close. Bwahahaha. *goes to look for hammer*

4 days ago
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One Trillion Bq Released By Nuclear Debris Removal At Fukushima So Far

orgelspieler Re:Pick your units of radiation... (190 comments)

Wait... is that a metric fucking disaster or imperial?

4 days ago
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Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

orgelspieler Re: name and location tweeted... (877 comments)

There are terms and conditions for purchasing a ticket. Unless one of those terms was "We can kick you off the plane for sending a tweet" then they are in violation of contract and should be taken to small claims court. Of course it's more of a PITA than it's worth, but it would be fun to see SWA's lawyers have to defend such absurd behavior.

4 days ago
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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

orgelspieler 9 year olds need not apply (205 comments)

I know at leat three people driving Sienna's ... each of them over ten years old.

I should hope so. Otherwise how do they reach the pedals?!

about a week ago
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New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

orgelspieler Re: minivan dead? (205 comments)

You are absolutely right about the stigma thing. My wife used to swear up and down that she would never get a minivan. She toughed it out with her CR-V as long as she could. When the in-laws (or other visitors) came over, I would dutifully crawl in the back, while everybody else piled in. But once we had our second kid, it became increasingly impossible to safely get the whole family where we were going. Then when the older one entered grade school, there was the need to shuttle friends about, too.

So we've had a Honda Odyssey for over a year now. The mileage isn't bad. The thing handles better than my Accord. It has more luggage room and is more configurable than the Pilot would have been. My only complaint so far is that the windshield is so large that it distorts my field of vision giving me a slight headache on long trips. But my wife says it's just my imagination. She has embraced being a minivan mom. She'll probably be one until the kids are grown.

I liken a minivan to any other tool. Once you get used to using the right tool for the job, you wonder why you ever did it any other way.

Regarding the push-button fold flat seats, that is already an option for the back seat of one brand. Don't remember which, though.

about a week ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

orgelspieler Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

Here are the rules at my house: Be safe. Be nice. Four words, and still my seven-year-old finds a way to get all lawyery.

about two weeks ago
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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

orgelspieler Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

That's actually a pretty good point. Policies are set out to protect the company, while appearing to protect the employees. If an employee signs something saying they know harassment is not allowed on premises, it makes it a lot easier to fire them. If you don't have such a policy, it makes it a lot easier for the harassee to go after the company as well as the harasser.

Besides it isn't always so clear cut, which illegal activities will get you fired. How many companies will fire you for getting a speeding ticket? What if you get a DUI? How many companies will fire you if you smoke a joint (while not at work)? What about bouncing a check? Hell, some school districts have policies forbidding teachers from being seen drinking in public.

I don't think a company policy is meant to cover everything, just everything they are worried about getting sued over. I wonder if anybody has ever used the excuse "Well it wasn't in the policy, so you can't fire me for torturing my puppy to death," or some other heinous act.

about two weeks ago
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Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

orgelspieler Re:That's what I do (280 comments)

Man that guy is a complete idiot. Pa$$w0rd! is like the stupidest password ever.

about two weeks ago
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Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

orgelspieler That's what I do (280 comments)

Basically if there's no personal or financial information I'll use a low security password. Hasn't caused any problems yet, and I find it easy to remember passwords for forums this way.

about two weeks ago
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Seat Detects When You're Drowsy, Can Control Your Car

orgelspieler Re:Defibrillator also? (106 comments)

I was thinking the same thing. If you fall asleep, a jolt to the old butt-cheeks might just wake you up before you become a menace. And the fear of it happening again would probably be enough to keep you wired (no pun intended) until you get to your destination.

about two weeks ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

orgelspieler Re:Christmas is coming early this year (702 comments)

Terrorists seem to be just as irrational about their targets as we are about our fears. I'm not the one who singled out bombing airplanes as this weird, master goal. I can think of many, many ways to cause much more economic and human damage than to take down a single airplane. But that's not what gets people in a tizzy.

Hmm... That's actually the best argument I've ever heard for this whole TSA/airport thing. Well done!

about two weeks ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

orgelspieler Re:Christmas is coming early this year (702 comments)

It is absolutely insanity. If the goal is to make it very unlikely, we were already there before naked scanners and confiscating water bottles. Using your own example of ever-shrinking Venn diagram intersections: The circle containing "people who just forgot to charge their phone" is probably 4 or 5 orders of magnitude bigger than any of the other circles you just told us to draw. Also the odds of the people building a bomb into an iPhone not being able to also make the phone look and act like an iPhone for some short amount of time is tiny.

Further, the act of blowing up the iBomb in the security line would be more dangerous and costly than actually blowing it up on a plane. Can you imagine? You'd get to shut down an entire airport and kill the hundred people in line. Back to my point, the continuing addition of rules at the checkpoints is insane. To think otherwise is willful ignorance.

about three weeks ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

orgelspieler Re:Repeat after me... (534 comments)

Actually, Title III of the ADA pretty much says they must let us bring in food. Space Center Houston is a "public accommodation." An allergy is "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities" (eating). They have to make reasonable accommodations to their policies. Since they do not offer any dairy free menu items in their food court, a reasonable accommodation would be to allow us to bring in a sandwich. The alternative is that they lose ALL the money I would spend in their food court.

Shit... now that I look more closely at this, I really should sue the Honolulu airport. When we went through there, they had all these signs saying that they don't serve people with food allergies. WTF? Of course, since it's an airport, you're kind stuck there without a lot of options. Anybody know any good civil rights lawyers?

Can you imagine if they had a sign that said "Sorry, no retards allowed."

about a month ago
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Lawrence Lessig Answers Your Questions About His Mayday PAC, Part 2 (Video)

orgelspieler Video Boo Hiss (42 comments)

At first I was surprised to see this article didn't have at least 300 comments. Look at the recent SCOTUS article. But now I see why. I can't believe they chose to present answers from Lessig in this format. How absurd. I was just telling my son how stupid it was that he wades through 7 minutes of Minecraft Youtube videos when the same info can be garnered in 10 seconds on the wiki. I'm appalled that they don't at least have a transcription posted here. Web accessibility is one of those touchstone topics for Mr. Lessig, so I am flabbergasted that they would have chosen him for a video-sans-transcript response.

about a month ago
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Massachusetts SWAT Teams Claim They're Private Corporations, Immune To Oversight

orgelspieler Re:Repeat after me... (534 comments)

Fuck security guards.

We were going to go to NASA Space Center, and they have a "security checkpoint" before you enter. You know what they're looking for? Food! I couldn't bring in a sandwich so my son with food allergies (yes the real, anaphylaxis kind) could eat lunch with us. All so they could make an extra buck at the snack counter. I guess they got enough complaints, because they allow bottled water now. I raised a big enough stink about it that they finally let me in, but what the fuck? If it's a goddam security check, look for guns and knives and forget the rest. If a little ham is going to cause the Mars exhibit to implode, why don't they have another checkpoint as you leave the food court?!

Anyway, I would have left, but my wife had already bought the tickets and was pissed at me for raising such a fuss. I was offended that she was not outraged. I mean this is complete bullshit, and she wants to raise our kids to just roll over and take it. More people need to get pissed at these "security" checks. I see it happening at more and more venues: football games, art museums, etc... At least the metal detectors in the courthouse came as a response to actual shootings. But come on, who is going to bother with a terrorist attack on the Duct Tape Museum of Greater Bumfuck? At some point the security measures cost more than what you're actually preventing.

about a month ago
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Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index

orgelspieler Bad actors (248 comments)

I'll probably get modded down for this, but it looks like this is a case of a judge stretching the law as far as possible to try to enforce an order against some really crappy people. If the plaintiff is correct (AFAIK they are), then the defendants absolutely deserve to get struck from Google's search results. Hell, if they're really bait-and-switching customers, you'd think Google would be pleased as punch to give these guys the finger.

Look, it's nice to talk in absolute terms about freedom of speech, sovereignty, judicial activism, or what have you. But this is part of an ongoing trial, and the judge is trying to do what's fair while the underlying trade secret case plays through. I wouldn't want to be in her position. If the plaintiff goes under because all the Google results for their equipment point to these other asshats, then the judge will be blamed for not doing enough.

If one of my engineers started up a company in Canada using my technology, I would love for a judge to be able to enjoin Google to remove their search results. This is a feature, not a bug.

about a month and a half ago
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Canadian Court Orders Google To Remove Websites From Its Global Index

orgelspieler Re:Just Google? (248 comments)

Better-er question: why use the teletype tag? It's non-standard.

about a month and a half ago
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"Super Bananas" May Save Millions of Lives In Africa

orgelspieler Re:And hippies will protest it [OT] (396 comments)

You look like a knee-jerk muppet conjuring stereotypes ...

Ha! I parsed that as "muppet-conjuring." I had a fleeting image of the Count as a muppet necromancer. One, two, three, four! Four muppet zombies! ah ah ah ah.

about a month and a half ago
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$10k Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At Planes Goes Nationwide

orgelspieler Re:This is getting so old. (264 comments)

wacking them behind the head all the time like little babies

What kind of fucked up place are you from where they whack little babies upside the head all the time?! And you think WE have issues?

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?

orgelspieler Car ride to Disney on a TI-eighty something (310 comments)

My little brother and I wrote a casino emulator on my TI calculator while riding in the back of a car. Could choose from blackjack, roulette, or slots. Never got craps working, though.

about 2 months 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  |  about 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 7 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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