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Comments

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New iOS App Sends Users' Web Traffic Through Its Proxy Servers

peacefinder FTFY (83 comments)

The company rushed to point out that security certifications from TRUSTe, McAfee and Norton are worthless in this situation.

more than 2 years ago
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News about me, stuff that doesn't matter except to me

peacefinder Welcome! (2 comments)

And congratulations!

about 3 years ago
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GPS Tracking of State Worker Raises Privacy Issues

peacefinder Re:Overtime! (173 comments)

True, but "a willing lawyer" isn't a tough standard to meet. :-)

Still - in all seriousness - it's hard to imagine a jury who wouldn't be on his side.

more than 3 years ago
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GPS Tracking of State Worker Raises Privacy Issues

peacefinder Overtime! (173 comments)

If his employer was tracking him, it must have been for work purposes, right? So since he was on the clock, he should at least be paid his contracted rate for all the time he was tracked.

more than 3 years ago
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That tears it - Obama regime truly crooked.

peacefinder Re:How does... (10 comments)

It's a bipartisan problem. Check out Senator Ron Wyden D-OR. Sure, he's done some great things lately for sanity in copyright and civil liberties. But he's also majorly in the pocket of Wall Street.

more than 3 years ago
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Taco's Gone

peacefinder Incorrect. (12 comments)

Plenty of circlers mentioned it. I saw posts on multiply, fb, g+...

more than 3 years ago
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Well Fuck

peacefinder I'm sad. (13 comments)

This means that guy I used to work with (known as "Hank the Blank") was just stupid, not chemically impaired. It's slightly depressing that big an idiot could exist naturally.

more than 3 years ago
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I'm Calling It Now

peacefinder It's not too late! (10 comments)

We can still get Texas a seventh flag by this time next year!

more than 3 years ago
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#HASHTAG!

peacefinder Oh my (1 comments)

That's beautiful.

more than 3 years ago
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I Love Crows

peacefinder Re:Angry Birds! (2 comments)

LOL! I can't believe I missed that connection when I first read this.

more than 3 years ago
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Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?

peacefinder Re:Paradigm shift (949 comments)

"That sounds like a reasoned response. Got any research to back it up? Of course, for suitable research to actually be meaningful, it would probably require recognised experts in commerce and education. Might want a quick trip down to your local university to see if you can find some.

Oh, wait. You don't believe in them. Well, you just go ahead spouting unsupported statements."

Most amusing.

To treat your post seriously for a moment, you're overlooking a very substantial truth: Good science is arrived at by an open process, not by a university's stamp of certification. Recognized experts are entirely optional to good science.

I'll freely admit that I've done no studies; although salted with fact, what I wrote above is opinion not science. But there's nothing stopping someone from doing science on these questions, inside academia or out.

more than 3 years ago
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Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?

peacefinder Re:Paradigm shift (949 comments)

Hee-hee. That was just to build credibility with the academic crowd. :-p

more than 3 years ago
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Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism?

peacefinder Paradigm shift (949 comments)

Don't confuse anti-academicism with anti-intellectualism. People are just as interested in learning as they ever were, but the monopoly on higher education held by the university system for the last couple centuries is crumbling in the face of the freer exchange of ideas offered by the internet.

Universities are in the content delivery and certification business. They're suffering the same internet-related issues as other content delivery systems as other options become viable. (Khan Academy, anyone?) But worse for them, they've allowed their certification standards to steadily be weakened, while at the same time raising their prices far faster than inflation. Faced with paying ridiculous prices for weak degrees when free options abound, it's hardy surprising that many choose to opt out.

more than 3 years ago
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Wanna Freak Yourself Out?

peacefinder Aaaaah! (9 comments)

It's the martian sex-bomb from Mars Attacks!

more than 3 years ago
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CARDIS

peacefinder Nice! (3 comments)

My other half bought a Golf TDI in November for the commute to her new job and loves it. Over the first 10,000 miles it's achieved 42 MPG.

Is "Commuting And Relative Displacement In Space" too simple?

more than 2 years ago
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"And the wind cried, Mary..."

peacefinder You've been trolled (7 comments)

That map was originally produced on 4chan, fwiw.

more than 3 years ago
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Total Chevy Volt Sales for February = 281

peacefinder Re:And yet... (7 comments)

I don't disagree. (For me it is too expensive, but then I also know that I don't have need for a range-extension gasoline engine.)

Still, GM seems to have considerable confidence in the future of the product, and is pursuing a different build strategy. It seems like a reasonable bet to me, but it'll be a loooong time until they're turning a profit on the model.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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Armadillo Aerospace wins Lunar Lander Challenge

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 5 years ago

peacefinder writes "John Carmack's team at Armadillo Aerospace won the level one prize in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge on Friday. Saturday, they go for level two. As if that's not enough excitement for one weekend, Armadillo also announced a joint venture to develop a suborbital tourism vehicle. I don't suppose they'll call it the Rocket Jumper, though."
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Sam Adams vs Sam Adams

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

peacefinder writes "Sam Adams recently announced he's running for Mayor of Portland, Oregon. A few of his fans registered a couple of websites on his behalf. The brewer of Samuel Adams beer noticed these new domains, and sent the registrants a Cease-and-Desist Letter claiming trademark infringement. Local bloggers are calling for a boycott of the beer, while another claims that — if there exists real confusion — Boston Brewing may be violating Oregon election law by continuing to sell its beer here. Can the Portland Beer Party be far behind?"
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peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

peacefinder writes "I read something this morning that has made my day. One of the local Portland weekly newspapers, the Portland Mercury, is holding a charity auction. And this year the beneficiary is the organization that taught me how to be a mediator and (indirectly) gave me my slashdot name.

May I please introduce Resolutions Northwest:
You may not have heard of RNW and their successes, because all their cases are kept strictly confidential. But I can share with you their success rate: Over 90 percent of RNW's mediations have been successful in solving the conflicts in question. Plus, 97 percent of clients would recommend the services. Here's another stat that should pique the interest of most taxpayers (even those who don't believe in conflict resolution): Mediation has been shown to be 10 TIMES less expensive and four times better in reducing future crime than the court system.
"

Journals

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Feature request: Message notice

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Could we get the new message notification put back on the front page, please?

That notification is - well, was - a major value-add to induce me to look at the front page. Removing the notification has lowered the value of the front page below my tipping point, and now I'm not likely to bother with it.

Thanks.

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It was about PIZZA?!??!!!

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Seriously?

Dude. I had no idea. All this time I assumed it was politics that did you in.

(This entry will be meaningful to very few of you, and it's aimed at only one - who probably isn't listening anyway. The rest of y'all, don't sweat it.)

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Ask a subset of /.: IT reality check

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I need a technical reality check here.

I am currently under direction to set up some interation with a service that provides automated appointment reminders by phone. The information I'm to share with these people is HIPAA-protected information.

The setup process has been rocky: first the technician I'm working on didn't seem to understand the difference between FTP and SFTP, then he - after giving me my login information to their SFTP server by phone - did me the courtesy of e-mailing the password to me. Great.

So today I'm getting into their management interface website for the first time. It's IE-only, but whatever. It needs an ActiveX control to display properly. Okay, fine. The ActiveX auto-downloader doesn't work, so the technician directs me to a downladable EXE that installs the necessary components. My hackles go up, but it's a secure site so I fetch it. I ran the thing and it's unsigned, but again it came from a https site and that's not so uncommon, so I continue.

But the damn thing is trying to change some DLLs and/or OCX files in use by my Practice Management application... something far more critical than this reminder service. And what the hell is a website doing messing with DLL and OCX files, anyway?

So questions:

When's the last time y'all interacted with a website that requires messing around on the DLL/OCX level of your windows system?

I do not trust these people. Every It instinct I have tells me that if I use this service, I am going to end up reading abbout my own HIPAA data loss in the paper. Am I just being too paranoid, or does it seem like there's really something wrong here?

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Ask a subset of /.: VMWare and iSCSI enclosures

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Any volunteers to have their brains picked about VMWare deployments and/or iSCSI disk enclosures?

Looking to move to iSCSI network storage, something in the neighborhood of 1.5TB of RAID 5. (Max of 3TB within five years.) EqualLogic looks good to me, except that Dell just bought them, sigh. Anyone know anything awful about them? Anything wonderful about someone else?

After that, I'll be looking to roll all my servers - including an MSSQL 2003 server and some applications on it - up into VMWare. Anyone have some lessons learned they'd like to share?

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The things we do for Science

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

"Professor Gert Holstege and colleagues asked 13 heterosexual couples aged 19-49 to take part in an experiment. One half of the couple was asked to lie down, with their head inside a scanner, while their partner stimulated them manually to achieve orgasm. To aid the mood, the room lighting was dimmed and all noise distractions shut out. The couples then switched positions and the experiment was repeated. [...] The women were also asked to fake an orgasm so that these scan results could be compared with those taken during genuine orgasms. There were obvious differences. Professor Holstege said: 'Women can imitate orgasm quite well.'" More at the BBC.

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Holiday Traditions...?

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

It has just come to my attention that something I thought was a US-wide tradition maybe isn't. Who else out there gives out chocolate-covered cherries for Washington's Birthday?

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A nice thing about Slashdot

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 6 years ago

One nice thing about Slashdot is that - so far as I know - user accounts are not subject to being administratively banned. I had taken that liberty for granted.

Recently, I am sad to say, I have come to appreciate* that as a truly excellent feature of this site. I hope I will not take it for granted again.

[*: No, I'm not going to elaborate; it's not my story to tell. Besides, there's a long and distinguished tradition of /. journal entries that only make sense to people who already know WTF happened. It seems to be my turn to uphold it.]

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Ask the subset of Writers

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  about 7 years ago

A friend of mine* is starting to write again after a loooong hiatus. She's looking for a place to post her writings online, and is considering MySpace.**

Anyone have any suggestions for writer-focused sites or online writing circles?

[*: No really.]
[**: And Multiply, but she's leaning MySpace.]

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Ruh-roh.

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

When the local paper carried a story about some folks being arrested for public indecency, I didn't spare it a glance. That's not really news I can use, thanks.

But some folks at work read it, and one of them pointed out that one of the fellas pictured is a former co-worker of ours. Even that wouldn't be any sort of big deal at all to me, had his mugshot not shown him wearing one of our company t-shirts... with our logo prominently displayed.

Urk.

I guess it's a right handy thing that we recently changed our logo, and he was wearing the old one.

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Terrorist on trial!

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

A spokesman for Pontius Pilate informed the Jerusalem News that the accused threatened to overthrow the government and replace it with his own kingdom. "We took a strong stand, because the threat was both broad and deep," said Marcus Spartacus, from Pilate's office. "The sedition laws are clear and will be enforced vigorously."

Well, not really. Or not lately, anyway. It's a lovely bit of wordsmithing from Groklaw all the same. PJ wasn't talking about terrorists, just SCO and their press relations. But it's a great example of the importance of knowing the bias of an information source.

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Defense supplemental

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

U.S. Army leaders warned members of Congress that, unless the 2007 supplemental spending bill is passed, the service is heading toward financial crisis.

Without the supplemental, "it will be dire straights for the Army," Gen. Richard Cody, U.S. Army vice chief of staff, said at an April 17 hearing of the House Appropriations defense subcommittee. [...]

"I am also frustrated we don't get our appropriations on time," Cody told lawmakers. "Our troops deserve better. We're throttle-back, and the last place we want to scale back is Afghanistan and Iraq." [...]

The $124 billion 2007 emergency supplemental bill is currently stalled by a disagreement between Congress and the White House. The Democrat-controlled Congress has attached a troop withdrawal deadline for U.S. forces fighting in Iraq to the legislation, a measure President George W. Bush has said he will veto.

It's a crisis. If the Democratic Congress doesn't appropriate some more money for the war - doesn't give the President a bill he can sign - then by June the DoD will run out of money with which to continue the war. Here's the Democratic party failing the troops, just like so many people expected they would.

But... there's something odd. Didn't the last, Republican-controlled Congress pass a budget for fiscal year 2007? By, gum, they did:

In Congress' last week in session, the House and Senate passed a final version of the fiscal 2007 Defense Appropriations bill, totaling $436.5 billion, according to the conference report.

The bill, which sets spending limits for the military, includes a $70 billion bridge fund for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Bridge fund? Oh, right. This war is not on the budget. It's being paid for thorough a series of supplemental appropriations. Of course, the President, not wanting to leave the troops at the mercy of Congressional politics, he must have asked for enough for a whole year of warfighting, right?

* Provides $439.3 billion for the Department of Defense's base budget--a 7-percent increase over 2006 and a 48-percent increase over 2001--to maintain a high level of military readiness, develop and procure new weapon systems to ensure U.S. battlefield superiority, and support our servicemembers and their families;
* Requests $50 billion in 2007 bridge funding to support the military's Global War on Terror efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq into 2007; [...]

Wait... what?

Gosh, it looks like that Republican Congress gave the President even more money to fight the war than he asked for... 140% of his request.

So why is it that the warfighters are almost out of money? Why do we have this crisis? Didn't someone see this expense coming? Why didn't anyone ask that money for the war be placed in the regular DoD budget? Didn't anyone complain about the off-budget method of financing the war?

How about the New York Times, May 8 2006:

President George W. Bush is trying to score unearned points for fiscal rectitude by railing against the Senate's outsize $109 billion supplemental spending package, which includes money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as hurricane relief. But the real scandal is Bush's own preference for financing much of the cost of the Iraq war outside the normal budget process. That is convenient for the administration, which does not have to count the money when it is pretending to balance the budget. But Iraq is not some kind of unexpected emergency, like Hurricane Katrina. It is a highly predictable cost, now amounting to about $100 billion a year, or just under 20 percent of total military spending.

How about John Kerry in 2004:

Despite all we are asking of the men and women in uniform, the bill we now debate appropriates $87 billion simply by increasing the Federal deficit. It asks no sacrifice of anybody in the United States today who can afford it. This is an off-budget, deficit-spending free ride.

Heck, even the BBC got in on it:

The Bush administration has chosen to finance the war by off-budget emergency supplemental appropriations, rather than include Iraq spending in the budget sent to Congress.

It was only after the war began, on 25 March 2003, that President Bush asked for $75bn extra to pay for the initial costs of the war.

And it was more than six months later before the next supplemental appropriation, for another $87bn, was made.

That has reduced the political flack over appropriations for the war - and has also meant that the war spending does not formally count as part of the budget deficit in the future.

And that deficit is predicted to exceed $500bn this year.

According to economics professor William Nordhaus of Yale University, these costs are "a significant burden on the federal budget, another straw on the camel's back".

"The major problem is the Bush administration's unwillingness to face up to the need to finance any of the additional costs, whether the war in Iraq, homeland security, or most important of all the new Medicare provisions," he says.

"Like a teenager who gets further in debt on a credit card, the Bush administration is racking up costs that will have to be paid in the future in higher taxes or lower government programs.

"The fiscal irresponsibility is really awesome."

You know what, Mr. President? I don't want to hear about what you're willing to sign any more. You got us into this mess. And by mess I don't mean the war... I mean the shoddy and, to be blunt, the deceptive way you have chosen to ask for funds for this war. There's a funding crisis now not because the Democrats are recalcitrant, but because you chose to finance the war using off-budget supplemental spending requests. If we were talking about a supplemental just for the surge, that'd be one thing - the surge was not really expected. But you're financing the whole damn war this way, and in the main the costs for this war have been reasonably predictable.

You're the one who has made the funding for this war more of a political football. If you'd budgeted for this war properly, honestly, there would be money to pay through October already... and you could have got it from a Congress controlled by your own party.

You screwed up, Mr. President, and now your screwup has placed your ability to run the war as you please at the mercy of an unfriendly Congress. It's your own damn fault, so stop whining.

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Humor in Tech Support: VPN edition

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 7 years ago

During a support call from a remote user, trying to get his VPN to connect:

"I don't have to be connected to the internet for the VPN to work, do I?"

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Who runs Iran?

peacefinder peacefinder writes  |  more than 7 years ago There are some very important questions that folks (including me, in this case) just completely fail to ask. Today's example:

WHO RUNS IRAN? Mark Kleiman is bothered, rightly, by the tendency to treat Iran as a sovereign, Western-style country whose actions "are the results of political conflicts and agreements among Iranian politicians, interest groups, and factions." In other words, when we talk about Iran, we don't take the complexities and oddities of its politics into account. Agreed. Moreover, there's a bias towards evaluating states in basically the analytical frame we use for America, and so the guy called 'the president" who spends a lot of time attending international summits and appearing on the nightly news, is assumed to be basically in control of things. Which is why, of course, Iran is now a pluralistic, open democracy, much as President Khatami wanted it.

Oh, wait. That didn't happen. Because, as it turns out, president is not a particularly powerful office in Iran. Last night, I was talking with a pollster who kept insisting that Ahmadinejad was a nearly unique threat, as not only did he possess the means to eventually construct nuclear weapons, but he had a rationale for using them. I disagree on the last clause, but there is absolutely no reason to think President Ahmadinejad has the power to launch a nuclear strike. On anyone.

In the Iranian political system, the Supreme Leader controls the armed forces, the television, the judiciary, the prisons, and basically every other lever of power. The President, conversely, is a very high-ranking civil servant. His only intersection with the military comes in the appointment of defense and intelligence ministers, who must then be approved by the Supreme Leader and then by the legislature. He is impotent when it comes to the armed forces. Iran, remember, is a revoultionary republic, and Khomeini's "innovation" was to argue that the country should be run by those schooled in Islamist thought. The president, a popularly elected politician, not only isn't the highest leader, but his subordinate position is woven into the deepest fabric of the country's political structure.

So President Khatami, who just wanted to institute some political reforms, was completely stymied by the Supreme Council. And yet we think Ahmadinejad will be allowed to launch nuclear attacks -- which will result in massive reprisal against Tehran -- all on his lonesome? It's nuts! He doesn't have the power. And no one with the power has proven particularly reckless or hungry for annihilating confrontation. And yet, the media still presents the situation, and the administration still prortrays it, as if Ahmadinejad is George W. Bush rather than Mohammed Khatami. This is not clear thinking and it will not lead to sound policy-making -- but it does help with the fear-mongering.

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