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Comments

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Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

psychonaut ACM are inveterate spammers, that's why (213 comments)

The main reason not to join ACM is that they spam the hell out of their members (and even prospective members and former members). Here are just some examples of recent complaints from computing professionals:

I have never been a member of ACM myself, but my e-mail addresses are (or were, the last time I checked) regularly bombarded by their solicitations. Now everything from them just goes straight to the bit bucket.

about three weeks ago
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Open-Source Blu-Ray Library Now Supports BD-J Java

psychonaut Re:this is great news! (94 comments)

When I stick a disc in my player it normally will just start up to the movie for me. I've heard this problem before, part of that is player features, part of it is the specific title you're playing. Unskippable content is lame, I agree, but if I get a disc like that I can just do a direct copy of the disc contents with the protections removed and re-burn to a dual-layer blank. Now I can play it back on the player and skip content, no change in quality.

Wait, so let me get this straight. You and your SO make some steaming hot popcorn, dim the lights, and settle down on the couch for a movie night. You pop in your disc, only to find that it starts off with five minutes of annoying "unskippable" advertising. So your solution would be to get up, take out the disc, walk it over to the computer you keep in a separate room, insert it there, load up your disc ripping software, copy the disc to the computer, remove the disc, locate and insert a blank one, burn a new copy with the "unskippable" bit disabled, remove it, walk it back over to your living room player, insert it, and press play? Seems to me that serviscope_minor's solution of using MPlayer to begin with and simply mashing a single button to skip the advertising is a heck of a lot more convenient.

about a month ago
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Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

psychonaut Now they've taken to spamming... (242 comments)

As of today it looks like they've started implementing a new business strategy: sending spam e-mails to their former free account holders for webinars. I've closed my account and added dyn.com to my spam filter.

about 4 months ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

psychonaut Re:Annex? (313 comments)

Must have been before. Except for Crimea, Ukraine hadn't been part of Russia since 1917. And back then their nuclear stockpile was just as big as every other country's, given that nuclear weapons hadn't been invented yet.

about 4 months ago
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Dyn.com Ends Free Dynamic DNS

psychonaut Re:Alternatives (242 comments)

With No-IP's free service, host names expire every 30 days. I imagine this will be rather inconvenient for many people, even if all that's required to prevent the expiry is to log into your account (as Dyn.com has required for the past year or so).

about 4 months ago
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Turkish Finance Minister Defends Twitter Ban

psychonaut Re:Welcom to the group - China, North korea and Ir (94 comments)

Did you read your own citation? It says that it's South Korea which is censoring Twitter because North Korea is using it to publish propaganda. (I don't doubt that North Korea also restricts access to Twitter, but your claim that it's completely banned there is rather blatantly contradicted by your source.)

about 5 months ago
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Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

psychonaut Re:Reassembling the Soviet Union (309 comments)

You could say the same thing about the United States of America, whose formation in 1776 was a treasonous act against the Kingdom of Great Britain. In both cases it makes little practical sense to consider all their respective laws and treaties void, and as a matter of law they are not (at least insofar as Russia and the USA are concerned).

about 5 months ago
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Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

psychonaut Re:Reassembling the Soviet Union (309 comments)

But there was no revolution, and the only coup was a short-lived one which actually tried to restore the ancien regime. The Soviet Union was dismantled largely peacefully and within the existing political framework, via legislation and referenda. Furthermore there was a continuity of leadership in most republics -- those at the upper echelons of society remained very much in power, except that post-USSR they were fabulously rich as well, having dispensed with the pretense of economic equality and helped themselves to personal ownership of formerly state-run enterprises.

about 5 months ago
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Windows Replacement? ReactOS 0.3.16 Gets Themes, CSRSS Rewrite, and More

psychonaut Solution for RSS? (179 comments)

Does that query string also work for the RSS feed? Because I don't browse Slashdot by visiting the front page; I use a feed aggregator and click through to interesting articles that way.

about 6 months ago
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Firefox 27 Released: TLS 1.2 Support, SPDY 3.1, SocialAPI Improvements

psychonaut Re:Too late, switched to Chrome (167 comments)

What we really need is "Firefox Classic": a maintainable fork that takes the Firefox code base and strips it down to the essentials, without social networking add-ons or any of that garbage. Sort of like how Firefox itself originally forked off of the Mozilla Application Suite, come to think of it.

What's wrong with just using the Mozilla Application Suite? It got renamed to SeaMonkey a long time ago and development has continued ever since. It's got a mail and news client in addition to the browser, but apart from that there's no bloat or garbage. If, like me, you don't want to use the mail and news client, just don't open that window, and you'll never even know it's there.

about 6 months ago
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Man Shot To Death For Texting During Movie

psychonaut Re:It's about time! (1431 comments)

I am one that believes that self defense is a right granted by God the same way that freedom of speech and freedom of expression is granted.

Funny how governments the world over routinely and very effectively overrule your god with impunity. Is he not interested in enforcing his divine law?

about 7 months ago
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Charlie Stross: Why Microsoft Word Must Die

psychonaut Please Don't Send Me Microsoft Word Documents (479 comments)

His criticisms of Microsoft's deliberate lack of interoperability, ever-changing file-format, and attempts to establish market dominance by force aren't new, but of course it's always good to hear them publicized and repeated. About ten years ago I wrote a similar article, Please Don't Send Me Microsoft Word Documents, which includes links to even earlier essays by others.

about 10 months ago
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Yahoo Puts AltaVista To Death

psychonaut Re:From the for what it's worth department... (176 comments)

Google never dropped the ability to force inclusion of specific search terms; they just changed the syntax without telling anyone. Before you had to prepend a + to any term you wanted to include in the results. Now you instead need to surround the term with quotation marks.

about a year ago
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Popular Wordpress Plugin Leaves Sensitive Data In the Open

psychonaut Re:You said it! (54 comments)

Quadruple ROT-13.

about a year and a half ago
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Popular Wordpress Plugin Leaves Sensitive Data In the Open

psychonaut You said it! (54 comments)

This is precisely why I don't use PGP, TrueCrypt, ssh, or any of those other "cool" encryption tools used by millions of sheeple. All my data privacy and security needs are taken care of by my own custom-written, unbreakable encryption algorithm.

about a year and a half ago
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Federal Judge Says No Right To Secret Ballot, OKs Barcoded Ballots

psychonaut Re:This judge is a idiot! (584 comments)

Not necessarily. There are lots of conceivable purposes of a paper ballot. For example, when you have a large number of voters, it's much easier to count ballots if everyone votes on paper and sends them to a counter than to get all the voters into a room and have them raise their hands. Paper records also make recounts easier, regardless of the size of the electorate. Paper ballots may also be used to enforce limited secrecy (for example, secrecy at the time of voting only, but not at the time of counting—this is important if you need the voters to be accountable to their decisions after the fact, but don't want them to make their decisions based on knowledge of what their colleagues are deciding). I have participated and voted in such semi-secret or non-secret ballots as a voting member or officer in various organizations; it's not at all unusual.

Whether or not paper ballots are meant to enforce total secrecy in this particular jurisdiction depends entirely on the applicable legislation. I'm inclined to believe that the judge, as someone familiar with the law and after a dutiful review of the relevant state and federal legislation, has made an informed decision that nothing in that legislation supports the view that ballots are required to be secret. Of course, it's possible he missed or misinterpreted something, in which case a higher court can overrule him; however I wouldn't be so quick to assume that his ruling is the result of malice or gross incompetence. And if the ruling is upheld and people are outraged by oversight on the part of past legislators, then the easy fix is to enshrine ballot secrecy in electoral law.

about 2 years ago
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Creative Commons Urged To Drop Non-Free Clauses In CC 4.0

psychonaut ND is important for polemic works (223 comments)

I think including an ND variant is important for works which are polemic rather than purely informational. For example, if some person or group writes a political manifesto, they may want it distributed as widely as possible, and thus allow redistribution and commercial use. They will probably also want their name associated with that manifesto. What they do not want is someone else to take that manifesto, change the text slightly so that it advocates distasteful or diametrically opposed ideas, and then redistribute the modified version while preserving the original authors' names in the credits. This makes it seem as though the original authors are promoting the ideas contained in the modified manifesto, particularly if the modifier has (deliberately or otherwise) credited them conspicuously. The modifier need not even have bad intentions in doing so; perhaps his intent was not to embarrass the original authors but simply to reuse what he thought was very good prose and very good arguments.

Of course, this is a potential problem even with non-polemic texts; I could find some CC-licensed software manual or Wikipedia article written by some famous figure, incorporate parts of it into a distasteful manifesto, and then release it with the innocent authors' names attached to it. But I think such scenarios are less likely to occur simply because it's more difficult to attach opinions and calls to action to a purely informational text than to one which is already polemic.

about 2 years ago
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JavaScript For the Rest of Us

psychonaut Who came up with these awful translations? (285 comments)

The translations look terribly inconsistent and even completely erroneous. The German one, for example, strangely mixes verb forms: "throw" is "wirf" (informal imperative) but "catch" is "fangen" (infinitive). "char" is translated as "aeichen", which isn't even a word in German. Are the "translators" just people with no knowledge of the target language who are simply looking up words in a dictionary? If so I don't see how this project is possibly going to be of use to anyone.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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LG TVs phone home with your viewing habits

psychonaut psychonaut writes  |  about 9 months ago

psychonaut (65759) writes "Blogger DoctorBeet discovered that his new LG television was surreptitiously sending information about his TV viewing habits, as well as the names of the files he watched on removable media, to LG's servers. There is an undocumented setting in the TV configuration which supposedly disables this behaviour, but an inspection of the network traffic between the TV and the Internet showed that the TV continues to send the data whether or not the setting is disabled.

DoctorBeet contacted LG, but they shrugged the matter off, saying that it's a matter between him and the retailer he bought the TV from."
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HD transfer of Star Trek: TNG to arrive this year

psychonaut psychonaut writes  |  more than 2 years ago

psychonaut writes "Digital Bits have confirmed through sources at CBS Paramount that CBS are working on a high-definition transfer of Star Trek: The Next Generation. A four-episode Blu-Ray sampler disc is to be released later this year; the episodes featured will be the two-part pilot "Encounter at Farpoint", "Sins of the Father", and fan favourite "The Inner Light". On 2 September, LeVar Burton tweeted that he had stopped by CBS Paramount Television City to check the progress and was "mindblown" by the conversion. TrekCore has an article with further details and an analysis of some of the technical hurdles involved in remastering these episodes."
Link to Original Source
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The Linux Counter relaunches

psychonaut psychonaut writes  |  more than 2 years ago

psychonaut writes "Long-term readers of Slashdot may be familiar with The Linux Counter, which attempts to measure (through surveys and statistics) the number of people using GNU/Linux operating systems. The project started in 1993 and shot to fame six years later, largely as a result of three Slashdot articles (two of which brought the Counter to its knees). After four years of stagnation, project founder Harald Tveit Alvestrand has handed over the reins to a new maintainer, Alexander Mieland. Over the past few months, Mieland has completely redeveloped the project, with a modernized design and support facilities (including a bug tracker, mailing list, RSS feed, and Twitter account). The New Linux Counter is now up and running, with all the data for active users from the old counter. The old site will continue to operate for a time but will soon be shut down and requests redirected to the new site."
Link to Original Source
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Users allege Safari unsuitable as a mobile browser

psychonaut psychonaut writes  |  more than 5 years ago

psychonaut writes "As evidenced by Boing Boing's Top 10 iPhone Flaws lists, users are complaining in droves about bugs, annoyances, and missing features from the iPhone. Many of the complaints concern Safari's unsuitability as a mobile browser: the version used on the iPhone has no cache, doesn't load pages in the background, doesn't display pages incrementally, and tends to unnecessarily reload pages at the worst times (such as in the middle of filling in forms). All this makes for a frustrating browsing experience, especially on the slow and unreliable connections so common on cell phones."
Link to Original Source

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