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Shut Up and Play Nice: How the Western World Is Limiting Free Speech

professorguy Hear hear (1160 comments)

Anyone who owns and carries a firearm has a responsibility to demonstrate iron-clad self-discipline and sound judgment.

Well said. This is why I am a staunch supporter of gun ownership, but own no guns myself. As a service to society, I have judged myself unable to bear the heavy responsibility.

But I am very happy other private citizens, who have stronger character, own guns.

more than 2 years ago

DRM Could Come To 3D Printers

professorguy Science WILL progress. Unless we stop it. (315 comments)

Science WILL progress regardless of idiotic laws and politics.

I hadn't heard about the scientific progress of the Cambodians under Pol Pot. Progress must have occurred since mere LAWS could never stop it.

Sarcasm aside, I think you meant "regardless of idiotic laws and politics, as long as they are not TOO idiotic. " Unfortunately for all of us, it is very difficult to determine the exact location of the "TOO idiotic" line, and current politicians seem to be pushing as far as possible.

more than 2 years ago

Police Probing Theft of Millions of Pounds of Maple Syrup From Strategic Reserve

professorguy A note about darkness (by a producer) (399 comments)

My wife and I make our own syrup. This year was a poor production year (we got HALF of what we usually get), prices have soared and thefts like this suddenly have a big payoff.

But the "darkness" is more complicated than just the reduction. Since it is the COOKING and not the reducing that caramelizes the sugar and makes syrup dark, you can make lighter syrup by reduction without cooking.

That's why light syrup is so easy to get now since most producers use reverse osmosis to remove some water before cooking (to save energy) and thus cook it for less time. In fact, I've heard of producers here that do so little cooking, they add molasses to the final product to darken it so it looks like homemade syrup.

The late season stuff (known as "bud syrup" because the trees have already started to bud out) is always darker than the early, but that matters much less than cooking method.

more than 2 years ago

Police Probing Theft of Millions of Pounds of Maple Syrup From Strategic Reserve

professorguy Re:Something isn't right (399 comments)

No. Syrup is about 11 pounds per gallon, therefore 10^6 pounds is 90,000 gallons. That's only 9 large tanker trucks. You are correct that something isn't right. But it's your calculation: you're off by 2 orders of magnitude.

more than 2 years ago

Kindle E-Book Sales Surpass Print Sales In UK

professorguy ebooks cannot be HIDDEN (207 comments)

I like ebooks. Convenient to get & search and you get modern functionality (font size control, updates, smart indexing, etc). What's not to like? Only one thing: Giving up paper copies means giving someone else control of your library.

Even if you "download" ebook content and keep it out of the cloud, how are you going to read it? Oh, just use a networked device which.... oh, right, that's a fail because devices in the future will not even display forbidden content (and will report your attempt). Never happen because devices like that don't exist and besides people wouldn't stand for it? I was once told no one can possibly keep track of the websites you visit because that mechanism didn't exist and besides people just wouldn't stand for it. How'd that work out?

Only paper can be hidden and read back later without electronic intermediation. That means ONLY PAPER CAN BE HIDDEN. History tells us all unhidden documents are eventually taken. So use your ebook to read the latest thriller/romance/pulp. But PRINT ANY BOOK YOU WANT TO GIVE TO YOUR KIDS.

more than 2 years ago

War and Nookd — eBook Regex Gone Haywire

professorguy The problem with eBooks. (185 comments)

There is no way to hide an eBook. If you cannot HIDE it, you cannot OWN it.

That which cannot be hidden will eventually be stolen.

more than 2 years ago

European e-ID Announced

professorguy Why this is an issue. (155 comments)

Because "The Zuck" cannot go into a back room and pass a law which makes you a criminal based on the data in your record. A government can. And then it's too late to go back and NOT give over the data....

more than 2 years ago

Brazilian Schoolchildren Tagged By Computer Chips

professorguy Big difference (288 comments)

First of all, if they wanted to track you; then they'd sure as hell do it no matter what.

This is a weak argument. If they wanted to track YOU, this is certainly true. But if they wanted to track EVERYONE, then they'd need the kind of system described here. There is a fundamental difference between the 2 situations.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Manage Your Personal Data?

professorguy So now EVERYTHING is powered? (414 comments)

So they've convinced us that WASTEPAPER BASKETS must be plugged in at all times (shredders and so-called "electric dustpans"). And I see everyone out with gas-powered BROOMS. And even the SAP which drips freely from our maples is, in modern sugar houses, vacuum pumped to a tank.

And now there's 200 comments where the people are proud of their kilowatt server arrays which are powered 24 hours a day for their PHOTO ALBUMS? Are you people shitting me? I mean, you're putting me on, right? You don't really use up 10,000 kWH per year storing your family photos, do you?

Hey, I've just invented the electric elevator-button-pusher. I save a TON of finger wear and tear.

Sometimes, humanity makes me sad.

more than 2 years ago

The eBook Backlash

professorguy eBooks can't be HIDDEN (418 comments)

An eBook cannot be HIDDEN. History teaches us any book not hidden will, at some point, BE TAKEN FROM YOU.

more than 2 years ago

Sony To Delete Virtual Goods

professorguy Re:Bazinga! (171 comments)

Three thousand hours clicking on that mouse, collecting weapons and gold. It's almost as if it was a huge waste of time.

more than 2 years ago

Tracking Bracelets for Autistic Kids and Senior Citizens

professorguy Whose consent? (92 comments)

The article didn't say the subject of the tracking had to ask for it, just their family members. That's not consent. And if these people are incapable of giving consent, then THEY HAVE NOT GIVEN IT. And that's a problem.

How about we force YOU to wear one, for your own good of course. YOU may not agree, but all of us here who really care about what happens to you have decided for you. What's the problem? It's a voluntary program--it was voluntary for us.

more than 3 years ago

Verizon To Drop Unlimited Data Plans In Two Weeks

professorguy Nice if you already have internet. (302 comments)

We were spending about $100 per month with Dish. Bought a Roku box for living room, put the Wii in the bedroom and got a $9 Netflix streaming plan

Wow! What an excellent idea! I don't know why I didn't think of it. I'm going to stream my TV from Netflix from now on. What a savings! Hey, it's not going to be a problem that my wi-fi connection has a Verizon Wireless Mobile USB radio (that's the only high-speed internet of ANY KIND here), right?

What wonderful shows! I could easily find 60 hours of video for the month to be streamed on my 5GB data plan (the biggest they allow). What do you mean I owe Verizon $18,543?!

more than 3 years ago

Web-Users Fall For Fake Anti-Virus Scams

professorguy That's funny. But not true. (272 comments)

Having a general awareness of the threats represented by viruses is a requisite for vulnerability to the scam, while someone completely ignorant of computer threats wouldn't be susceptible.

The pop up comes up and the completely ignorant doesn't click on "Install" because he doesn't have an awareness of the threat, so he clicks on "No thanks." Too bad that ALSO INFECTS HIS MACHINE.

The ones I've seen install on any client click. Only hard powering (hold the power button for 10 seconds) will prevent infection at this point, so the completely ignorant are NOT going to be safe.

more than 4 years ago

Gosu Programming Language Released To Public

professorguy Re:Another Language (330 comments)

APL? You really programmed in APL? I thought I was the only one. Oh man, did I love my Linear Algebra II class, and writing a matrix manipulation program which would be several pages in C is a single line in APL! Too cool.

more than 4 years ago

Riskiest Web Domains To Visit

professorguy Any safer and it'd be the death penalty (106 comments)

3. There isn`t even one single spam or other related issue with .bg domain, if someone try to use it for illegal purpuses register.bg will wipe the domain and file official complain to the police.

So, your website gets hacked and a page is uploaded which delivers malware to visitors. It wasn't your fault, you've kept it patched and backup the logs, but the hackers had a 0-day in their toolkit.

So now YOU lose your domain and go to jail? Nice system you got there.

more than 4 years ago

The Bomb Squad Olympiad Starts Today

professorguy They own NO robots (43 comments)

Robots? ROBOTS!?!?

They have a radio-controlled platform with manually controlled servos. How is THAT a robot? It does absolutely NOTHING autonomously (except rust).

more than 4 years ago

Hawking: No 'Theory of Everything'

professorguy Please read this! (465 comments)

Everyone should read RyanFenton's post. This is a beautiful and deep analysis and, while it may be true or false, is a reasonable way to reconcile the current state of art.

Nicely done sir. I will ponder your words for weeks to come. A post like this can lift my entire assessment of humanity.

more than 4 years ago

ATMs That Dispense Gold Bars Coming To America

professorguy Consider Aluminum (482 comments)

It requires 3 electrons to turn the components of aluminum ore into one aluminum atom. That's a lot of electricity. That's why big Alcoa plants are not often conveniently placed, but are always near cheap power. There is simply no way to end up with usable aluminum without pouring on the power.

So think of aluminum ingots as frozen electricity. If electricity becomes more expensive to produce in the future, aluminum goes up, and of course if power is cheaper, it goes down. So which do you bet on: dwindling oil causing a rise or technological breakthrough making power cheap?

more than 4 years ago

Is the Web Heading Toward Redirect Hell?

professorguy Haw haw. (321 comments)

That's the nature of things once a system matures. --The ______ Agenda [cafepress.com]

Is it ironic that I clicked on your tee shirt store link and with my NoScript running, could not view, shop for, nor purchase anything? In fact, it is impossible to leave the barren first page. Keep up the good work.

more than 4 years ago



Ask Slashdot: How smart are the new British porn filters?

professorguy professorguy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

professorguy (1108737) writes "I have a little personal website (since 1997) that contains links to essays about horology. In one of the essays, I discuss the merits of bridges (a component of a wristwatch) as compared to cocks (a slightly different component of a wristwatch). The link appears on my site as "Why I Prefer Cocks."

Now I hear about the new opt-out filters for UK ISPs. This brings up several questions:
— Is the cock link visible through the filter? The page? The site?
— If not, if I change the link to something less ambiguous, will the missing piece(s) reappear?

UK slashdotters with ISP filtering, please compare these 2 links with these 2 images:
Site: http://professorguy.comWhat it should look like
Horological page: http://professorguy.com/blogWhat it should look like

I guess my real question is How smart are these filters? Thanks."

Ask Slashdot: Is Google really getting infinite copyright extension?

professorguy professorguy writes  |  about a year and a half ago

professorguy (1108737) writes "Google Earth once displayed an image of our small, rural town taken in 2005 marked (c) 2005. I noticed that in 2009, Google Earth displayed the SAME IMAGE but marked with (c) 2009. In 2011, the copyright date changed again but the image did not. Today I noticed the copyright date is now 2013, but it is the SAME IMAGE from 2005. It seems they got an 8-year copyright extension on their image.

Does Google get infinite copyright extension by simply continuously 'republishing' the same content? Does this mean no Earth image will ever be in the public domain? Can I just update the copyright dates on my own web content and get a free 15-year extension?"

Ask Slashdot: Internet2 benefits?

professorguy professorguy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

professorguy (1108737) writes "(Editors: the FAQ says use this submission form and select "Ask Slashdot section" but there is no such thing.)

Our hospital has the opportunity to meet with reps from a consortium connecting hospitals in our region to Internet2 (working from a $24.7M grant). The presentation materials so far have been quite thin. They tout the ability to "reserve" bandwidth between specific nodes for specific times using a simple web front end. So what's to stop me from reserving all the bandwidth forever? I mean, isn't trusting the users what made Internet1 so horrible that Internet2 was needed?

Our hospital network is currently in use of course, so how can we also connect to Internet2? If I want to send medical data to another hospital, won't I need a connection from my current network (which is connected to Internet1)? If it must be an air-gapped network, there will be no data I can put on it. If there is a direct connection, doesn't that mean my node (and all other nodes actually in production) will be a bridge between Internet1 and Internet2? If the security at one node will determine the security of all data on Internet2 then I don't see what Internet2 can do for us since it can't be trusted any more than Internet1.

What questions would you ask of this consortium?"

More medical info than required sent to state

professorguy professorguy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

professorguy (1108737) writes "I am currently a Network Administrator at a hospital and I am writing an HL7 interface for the state. The state has set up a surveillance system which monitors disease breakout to serve as an early warning system.

They claim they want aggregated data, not personal identifying data, but I wonder. They ask for gender, DOB, town, zip code and diagnosis codes for every visit. These seem completely reasonable and effective for the mission. Also, they ask for an encounter (per visit) number. Although the state cannot associate this number to any patient info, we can. If the state were to call us and ask for additional info about a particular encounter, we could easily supply personal data. This also seems reasonable to me.

However, they also ask for a medical record number (MR#). This is your unchanging number and will be the same for all of your encounters. With this number, the state can create a dossier on ALL of your visits. Since this obviously goes beyond what is needed for the stated mission, I put a random number in for MR#. The state gets what they need, and in the future they cannot go back and reconstruct your entire medical history.

My boss says the state should get what they want. I say no they shouldn't. What to do?"

What to do when broadband is not an option

professorguy professorguy writes  |  more than 7 years ago

professorguy writes "I've been on the internet since 1984 (back before email addresses had @'s). But it looks like we're coming to the end of an era. From my home, I have 26.4 kbps dial-up access to the internet (you read that right). Since I am a hospital network administrator, it would be nice to do some stuff remotely when I am on 24/7 call. However, no cable or DSL comes anywhere near my house and because of the particular topography of my property (I'm on a heavily-forested, north-facing hillside), satellite is also not available. Heck, cell phones didn't even work here until January.

So far, the technical people I've asked all have the same advice for reasonable connectivity: MOVE OUT of the house my wife and I built and lived in for 20 years. Has it really come to this? Am I doomed to be an internet refugee? Is this really my only option? What is the best solution here?"


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