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Comments

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Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

shanen What's the motto again? (1 comments)

A few months ago I had dinner with an old acquaintance who had moved over to the google, and I realized their new motto is "All your attentions is belonging to the google."

I don't think it was in the original business plan to go evil, but it's just the way the game is played in America these days. In brief, the rules of the game are laws written by the most cheaply bribed politicians working for the greediest and least ethical businessman, and to heck with the rest of the businesspeople, the ones who just want to play fairly in accord with the rules. Much more profitable to rig the game.

Facebook is a different can of evil worms, and I think the evil was right there in their original business plan, or at least between the lines. The problem is that most people have so little understanding of real freedom. My current joke on that topic is this equation:

Freedom = (Meaningful + Unconstrained) Choice Beer

It isn't just your negative data that takes away your freedom. Of course you can be blackmailed pretty directly with secret knowledge of your mistakes and such. It's also your tastes, strengths, and even your virtues that can be used to manipulate you, but that's twistier because you just think you're doing what you want to do--until they yank your leash.

about 5 months ago
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RIP, NASA Moon Landing Engineer John C. Houbolt

shanen Makes me feel so old... (33 comments)

I was a teenager when they reached the moon, but it makes me feel so old to think back to those days. I'm beginning to feel like we're getting dumber all the time, and I'm pressed to imagine how they conceived of such an approach.

Now all of this high-tech stuff has led to Facebook? Give me a break. Please. If we don't give Facebook to the Chinese, they'll be building the first lunar colony, the way things are going nowadays...

about 5 months ago
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Which Breakthrough Is Most Likely?

shanen Re:Human-level AI? How boriiiiiiing. (903 comments)

Let me put it differently. I think it would be very difficult to stop exactly AT human-level AI, and it wouldn't be very interesting to do that. While I agree with you about the low energy in the field these days, I just don't see why they would stop at that level once they'd gone that far.

However, my main point remains that this is an extremely tired old topic to be polling on. Not just this most popular theme, but ALL of the polls alternatives were boring.

about 5 years ago
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Which Breakthrough Is Most Likely?

shanen Re:Human-level AI? How boriiiiiiing. (903 comments)

I should have made it clear I was primarily referring back to to the original poll question that was supposedly motivating the discussion and to the specific option of "Human-level AI" that was so strongly favored.

I still recommend the book as something of a classic of comic SF. Sort of serious and witty technical humor, not absurdist. Hmmm... No, I guess it can't be connected to the devolution of /. humor, since the book was published long before /. existed.

about 5 years ago
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Which Breakthrough Is Most Likely?

shanen Human-level AI? How boriiiiiiing. (903 comments)

We already have plenty of humans around, mostly to ignore. However, if they can develop human-level AI the same techniques will probably not be limited, so it seems pretty obvious that they'll go on to superhuman AI, and that should be interesting. Topic reminds me of When Harlie was One --from about 30 years ago. Quite a good book, but /. is just TOO retro these years.

An alternative poll (for the moronic moderators) of more topical relevance:

Q: What motivates the protests of President Obama speaking to students to encourage them to study harder?

  1. Batshit craziness
  2. Batshit stupidity
  3. WASP fear that the motivated minority students will eclipse their own moronic children
  4. General fear of losing credibility with their own children if they discover Obama isn't the bogeyman
  5. All of the above
  6. Voyeur Cowboy Neal wants to watch

Can you imagine ol' Dubya trying to convince students 'Any of you could become President'? First you need a time machine to make your father President, then go back a little further and make sure your grandfather is a Senator.

And yes, I did scan for moderated "funny" and I was again disappointed. There was a funny link a few weeks ago--but the moderators failed (as usual). I only caught it because the poster of the link described it as funny.

about 5 years ago
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Back-to-school time means ...

shanen Re:Missing option (447 comments)

Missing Option: A greeting from President Obama.

Interesting evidence of /.'s death in progress that this is apparently the first mention of the topic. Or have all the moron moderators already censoriously moderated those comments into invisibility?

Anyway, it's suddenly become a very topical poll--but apparently I'm the only one who noticed?

waste of time, but a follow-on poll for the accidental relevance:

Q: What motivates the protests of Obama encouraging students?

  1. Batshit craziness
  2. Batshit stupidity
  3. WASP fear that the motivated minority students will eclipse their own moronic children
  4. General fear of losing credibility with their own children if they discover Obama isn't the bogeyman
  5. All of the above
  6. Cowboy Neal wants to watch

about 5 years ago
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Back-to-school time means ...

shanen Re:MBA (447 comments)

Given the time lapse, I'm pretty sure he didn't do that. However, I think he was actually filtered out at a higher level than that, so he was never really allowed to see what was really going on. I think he was smart enough to smell something--but that is exactly why they kept him from seeing anything concreted. I'm not really interested in that sort of thing, but from what little I've read, it seems like they were pretty good at compartmentalizing things.

In general I don't believe in complicated conspiracies, but I do think Baxter knew too much, had decided to tell all, and was snuffed before he could start squawking.

about 5 years ago
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UK Royal Society Claims Geo-engineering Feasible

shanen Re:Terraforming begins at home (316 comments)

Oh yeah. I forgot one more obvious thing that may not be obvious enough. The obvious mirror technology would just be large wire loops with thin coated plastic films stretched across them. You want them very light so that they will be responsive to the rotating gyroscopes (located at the center of mass of each mirror), and of course you want them to be cheap since you'll need a lot of them. Actually, I think you would only have one gyroscope per mirror, but it has to be on gimbals so you can rotate in arbitrary directions.

about 5 years ago
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UK Royal Society Claims Geo-engineering Feasible

shanen Terraforming begins at home (316 comments)

You caught me on the reference to "terraforming". Looks like we need to start by terraforming our own planet to sustain its suitability for human life. Not so funny.

My suggestion along these lines would be a network of large controllable mirrors in orbit. The individual sections could be aimed, essentially by rotating them with gyroscopes. Some region is too hot? Adjust more mirrors to give it more shade and reduce its temperature. Another area is too cold? Add the appropriate amount of reflected sunlight and warm it right up. Might as well send some extra sunlight to the polar regions and cultivate crops there, too. Surplus light for electricity generation on the side.

Expensive? Yes, but basically within the capabilities of existing technologies. I actually think the largest technical hurdle would be sufficiently accurate weather modeling. We'd essentially need to micromanage the weather all over the world. I don't think the launch capacity would be unsolvable. The early launches would focus on the power generation, and the power would be used to crack sea water for the hydrogen that would be used to boost more mirror satellites into orbit.

Okay, so it would also be potentially dangerous, but I'm hoping that the security problems could be solved, and all technology is morally neutral. Any power to do good is also a power to do harm. (Unfortunately, this is not a balanced relationship. There are some powers that can do nothing but harm... But that's getting off the focus--which can be risky with such large mirrors.)

about 5 years ago
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Back-to-school time means ...

shanen Re:MBA (447 comments)

I used to submit stories and suggestions. One of them is still pending, obviously long forgotten. Concluded that was a waste of time.

I've even had vigorous discussions with the big taco. It would be amusing to post some of his highly defensive email. However, I've never done that sort of thing, and I certainly don't care enough about /. to do it. In contrast, at least taco pretends to care--before he goes all defensive.

On the third hand, you have to admit taco has plenty to be defensive about.

about 5 years ago
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Back-to-school time means ...

shanen Re:MBA (447 comments)

Hmm... Reminds me of the time I did the programming for a fellow who was finishing his MBA. Analysis of bankruptcies, as I recall. Then he went to work for Enron--as an internal auditor. Not as bad as it sounds. He never said as much in public, but he must have figured it out quickly, because he left and completed his CPA and was far, far away from Enron when it blew away.

Anyway, another remarkably dull and uninteresting poll--but at least it's different from the previous poll. Unfortunately all I can remember the last poll was incredibly boring. There were three or four pollable news items that went past in the meantime, but the pollster doesn't work that way, eh?

I'd try to encourage some humor, but that seems pretty futile for /. these days. Even though the latest and lamest poll is utterly uninspiring, it's conceivable that someone can still think out of the box.

about 5 years ago
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modding versus replying

shanen Re:Borkenness of the moderation system (3 comments)

Oh yeah, about the original question. It is basically answered as a side effect of the first step of rationalizing the dimensions. You should be able to reply to any thread that you haven't given a negative mod to. We already know that negative moderation is easier than thinking, so they might as well make it official.

about 5 years ago
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modding versus replying

shanen Borkenness of the moderation system (3 comments)

Given the essential borkenness (stolen from a Frenchman who thought it sounded better than "broken"--or maybe he was just too easily amused), it seems rather a moot topic. My basic feeling is that moderation, especially negatively moderation, is mostly abused by people who find it easier than thinking. Initially moderation was a rather good idea, but it naturally devolved into a game, and now the 'winning' players are pretty much running /. into the ground, and hard.

Waste of breath and typestrokes, but I think there are some interrelated changes that could help:

  1. The dimensions of moderation should be cleaned up and made more rational.
  2. Eliminate the artificial scarcity of mod points (mostly to dilute the bad moderations). I think everyone should have at least a few mod points, though the exact number per day should depend on karma, subscription status, and perhaps some other factors. (For example, maybe strongly contradictory moderations (relative to other moderators) should cost two mod points.)
  3. The more abundant moderation should be reported on a logarithmic scale, though the base used should depend on the flow of mod points. At this point it might be base 2, which would imply +1 funny represents 2^1 = 2 funny points, +2 funny = 2^2 = 4 points, ... +5 funny = 32 funny points.
  4. The dimensionality of karma should match the dimensionality of the moderations, and they should be more effectively interlinked. In addition to accumulating or losing karma for moderations received, moderations given should be considered. For an example of one way to implement it without needing to track too much data, you could track the last five or 10 moderations given to a post, and if one of those moderations is contradicted (perhaps twice?) then you subtract an appropriate karma point from that moderator.
  5. People with high karma in a particular dimension might be allowed to give double moderation points in that dimension.

I see I've already sprained my brain to no purpose.

about 5 years ago
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GMail Experiences Serious Outage

shanen Re:Anti-Slashdot Effect (408 comments)

Off topic? Typical incompetent moderation, eh?

Anyway, it was down from Japan for quite a while. Then it came part way up, and eventually it seemed to be working again. I was actually composing some email most of the time, and didn't lose anything. (Pretty sure, anyway.)

In contrast to /., which tosses its cookies pretty often.

about 5 years ago
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GMail Experiences Serious Outage

shanen Re:Indeed (408 comments)

You ask why the parent was modded funny? See my sig--and karma.

Actually, I did see something funny on /. a few days ago. Oh wait. It was just a link to somewhere else. Doesn't count on the /. credit side.

Maybe /. could have gotten indirect credit, except the moderators were not competent enough to mod the linking post as funny. Sorry, you moron moderators, but I only found it because the poster described it as a funny link.

So you say you read /. for the timely technical news, not the pictures? For this story, you might as well be reading such innovative leaders as the Washington Post, a truly old MSM horse. In tribute to the old meme with the goat, I should post a link to a close up of a gift horse's mouth--but /. isn't worth that much research time.

Nomad said the Enterprise was flawed but could be repaired. Unfortunately /. is clearly beyond the miraculous curative powers of Nomad. I'm sure he'd just pull the plug.

"Flawed. Imperfect. Must sterilize. Sterilize..."

about 5 years ago
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My flash memory is mostly in the form of ...

shanen Re:Missing option: Who cares? (316 comments)

Tell you what. If they (the so-called editors/sysops) can't fix the shitty moderation, can they at least fix the reporting of the shitty moderation so that it makes some sort of intelligible sense?

more than 5 years ago
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My flash memory is mostly in the form of ...

shanen Missing option: Who cares? (316 comments)

Why should we care about your short wittiness? Or care about this poll, either, since the topic of "care" has come up.

However, at least I have to express my deep and profound gratitude for the death of that long-lasting but dull-witted poll. I've already forgotten everything about it except that it was there for a long time. I remember checking for "funny" a couple of times, but that was a real deader (or the moderators were screwing up (as usual)).

Today I'm motivated to proffer a counter-poll:

When should a /. poll die?

1. After the rate of new responses sinks below some threshold.

2. After the appearance of new comments sinks below some threshold.

3. When the assignment rate of mod points gets low enough.

4. When the comments start looping.

5. When the pollster recovers from his latest drunk.

6. When Cowboy Neal gets around to answering.

Actually most of those options could be implemented via clever programming of the sort that /. never exhibits these years. They could even give subscribers a peak at the next proposed poll give them a special vote for starting the next one earlier.

Making constructive suggestions on /. again, I see. Evidence of a masochistic streak. Hey you stupid moderators. It's your cue.

My constructive motivation for reading /. was the humor, which no longer exists. I'm now thinking that's probably yet another symptom of the stupid moderation. For example, one hypothesis is that the few good moderators who actually recognize and appreciate technical wit might be hesitant to give out karma-useless funny mods even when they're deserved. Meanwhile, the typical lousy moderators get offended and have no qualms about moderating downward. (After all, there is some evidence that there are still a few witty posters around, but they don't seem very visible these years.)

more than 5 years ago
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Blizzard Game You're Most Looking Forward To?

shanen I got your poll (452 comments)

When is this stupid poll going to go away?

Not worth the effort of a real meta-poll, but /. desperately needs rational poll-termination criteria. They could even give subscribers a preview of the next poll and a vote for the automated cutover to the next poll when the current poll has died the big death--like this one.

Except for the required programming skills and motivation. We don't need a poll to see those shortages in the /. of 2009.

Now come on, you moderating morons, you. Prove my sig right.

more than 5 years ago
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Windows 7 To Sell In UK For Half the US Price

shanen Re:It's all about killing choice (487 comments)

Okay, have it your way. No shortage of mod points. Just a surplus of censorious morons with mod points.

more than 5 years ago
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Windows 7 To Sell In UK For Half the US Price

shanen Re:It's all about killing choice (487 comments)

Either it's a zen art or I'm pandering to the Microsoft fan boys with mod points. Cf. sig. In a sense, given the artificial scarcity of mod points, encouraging their waste is just par for the course.

On the other hand, were you were just trying to beat another dead meme?

In conclusion, perhaps your configuration settings are such that you're seeing a different /. than I see. The one I see is not very interesting, constructive, informative, or (heaven forbid) useful these years.

I think my main motivation for dropping by /. lately is when my back is hurting. "So my back is hurting again, eh? Isn't that a better fate than befell /.?"

Long, long ago, my motivations were to find witty technical humor or new information. However, from this topic, you can see that I've obviously adapted to the times.

On the topic at hand, I'm afraid the discussion has already thrilled me past caring.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Finally death of Windows Mobile?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Reports are that Microsoft's new pact with Nokia is really a way to disguise the final demise of Windows Mobile. Having worked with the zombie for about two years a while ago, I can't say that I'll notice any difference. However, anyone know when we'll get a REAL replacement for the old Palm OS of yore? (I confess, I haven't taken a close look at Android yet. The local market (in Japan) is somewhat distorted...)"
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IBM Fellows for 2009

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "First public announcement outside the company, though I feel like asking why would /. care? I have actually done quite a bit of work for the group of one of the new Fellows, so I'd say that's my most 'exalted' acquaintance. Even the unintentional target of a joke on the Colbert Report, but we'll see if anything further develops there...

(Actually, I feel like the point of this submission is to see how long it takes /. to respond to actual breaking news, though there was once a time when /. was often ahead of the news before it broke. According to Google, the public announcement appeared on the Web around 14:30 JST...)"

Link to Original Source
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Windows Genuine Advantage Reeks

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Once again Microsoft is rubbing their Windows Genuine Advantage in our faces. I've already lost count of how many times this piece of garbage has been annoyingly updated. What countermeasures should we take regarding WGA?

1. Each of us should telephone Microsoft, get an actual person on the line, and then ask "Why do you think I am a thief?" (DDoS?)

2. Each of us should call Microsoft, get an actual person, and demand that person install our thief-detection software, since we believe Microsoft is full of thieves.

3. We should focus on one maker of no-Windows machines and give that company as much business as possible.

4. We should surrender to the dark side.

5. We should ask the big dick Cheney to take care of it. (He suddenly seems to have a lot of free time on his hands since he retired.)

6. We should telephone Cowboy Neal."
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Which is more censorious, /. or Google?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Of course the obvious difference is that /. has become so unimportant that there is no reason to care about /. censorship. In contrast, Google's support of spam and censorship are becoming quite problematic."
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Why is /. empty of interesting news?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "That was just to keep it short enough for the title. Actually, /. sometimes does have interesting news--but only after it's been published in all my other sources, whereas in years past /. was sometimes one of the first sources. However, it is also true that far fewer of the /. "stories" manage to make it to the interesting level, even allowing for being stale by the time they get here.

From time to time I actually have new and interesting secret items. I certainly wouldn't take the chance on sharing them via /., and that seems to be very widely true these years. Also an almost total loss of wit and humor and especially of witty humor.

Why don't you have a poll about why /. is going to hell so completely?

I'm oscillating again as regards reasons for /. is going to hell. I used to think it was because the moderating system was so thoroughly fucked and abused, but I'm increasingly convinced it's because the editors are lazy, worthless, and incompetent.

Like you say, "It happens, don't take it personally.""
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Can /. go fuck itself?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Can /. go fuck itself?

Oh, wait.

Actually, the article selection system isn't the worst aspect of /. these days. If I was an investor, I'd sell out in favor of GM shares."
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Can /.ers pressure Google to pressure spammers?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Can the techno-peasants of /. apply any pressure on Google to encourage Google to apply more pressure on the spammers?

With great power comes great responsibility, but it is increasingly clear that Google's policy towards spam is "live and let spam". Kind of amazing insofar as spam damages the value of email and advertising, which are both important to Google's business model. How can Google's self-interest be enlightened?

First example: At least 90% of spam depends on websites, and all webhosts want Google to index their public websites. Google obviously has enormous direct leverage there, and Google also has secondary or indirect influence on ISPs, domain registrars, and the DNS system itself. Google does little or nothing to use these forms of leverage.

Second example: Google's policy is to kill Gmail accounts that complain too much about the spam--even when the spam is Yahoo's. (I argue it's a waste to worry about Yahoo fighting spam. Yahoo is clearly incompetent, impotent, and helpless against the spammers.) Rather than blocking spam complaints, Google should be facilitating effective complaints against the spammers, not helping and protecting the spammers.

Third example: Google will sometimes take out a spammer's address-harvesting Gmail address (after a week or two), but I know of a prominent spammer admin address (tedjok) that Gmail has supported for months. I strongly suspect these are spammer-fronting ISPs and webhosts, but it might just be incompetents supported by Google's indifference. Live and let spam! NO!

Why does Google help the spammers? Can we do anything to persuade Google to be less helpful to spam and less protective of spammers?"
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WordPad for Remote Code Execution

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Why am I unsurprised to see that /. hasn't noticed yet? Do we need yet more evidence of the decline?

Anyway, Microsoft's lead patch this week is to prevent remote code execution using WordPad. It really got me to laughing aloud, though I couldn't really explain the joke to my security-naive coworker in the next cubicle. It's not like "safe" WordPad hasn't been around since forever and a day, eh?

Suggested keyword would be how-to-fuck-up-a-wet-dream or something along those lines. Several other severe vulnerabilities that, as usual, decrease my feeling of ownership of my supposedly "personal" computers. At least when they're pwned by... Er... that's supposed to be "running" Microsoft's so-called OSes.

Beyond the 11 emergency security admissions of major foulups by Microsoft, my exploratory Windows box also shows 7 recommended programs to install. No thanks, Microsoft. Why should we believe any of your new garbage is any safer than the old garbage?

Adding insult to the injury, Microsoft is yet AGAIN updating that horrendous "we assume you're a thief until we feel otherwise" WGA piece of garbage. So Mr Microsoft guy, when are you going to give us a genuine advantage? I haven't noticed much since Windows 95 finally got around to implementing TCP/IP."
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Japanese spammers arrested?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "I'm seeing a major decline in my Japanese spam. This is Japanese content that is mostly sourced in China for websites hosted in the Philippines and with various fake headers in Japan (most prominently yahoo.co.jp, excite.co.jp, and infoseek.jp). My feeling is that it represents at least two different gangs of spammers, though I suppose it could be one very active bastard who groups his spam in categories. My belief is that the scam here is actually advertising charges on behalf of fake businesses, and quite possible that the main goal is to launder the money.

Knocking on wood in the hope that it continues to be gone, but has anyone heard any news of major arrests or crackdowns? To shut it off this completely and quickly, I think it would have to be the Chinese police, even though the operation is probably controlled from Japan."
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Too big to fail = too big to exist?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "This is with regards to Microsoft's latest emergency unscheduled patch (or patches). Actually, I don't have the real story on this stuff, so hopefully someone around here can explain what is really going on. At this point, the only thing I'm pretty sure about is that this month's patches did not go so smoothly...

Imagine there exists at least one serious vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows-family OSes. Imagine that at there exists at least one major adversary ready and willing to exploit such a vulnerability.

If you can imagine those two things, then you can imagine all of Microsoft's computers failing or being taken over at the same time. Right now I think that means about 90% of the computers in the world might potentially be affected by a single vulnerability. Several of the patches released this month seem to have that much coverage, since the underlying vulnerabilities spanned a number of Microsoft OSes.

In our highly networked and increasingly computer-dependent world, can you imagine how much economic damage that could cause? I really can't. At some point my imagination fails me.

Even if the odds are very small, how can we comfortably live with that threat?

In conclusion, I think Microsoft has become much too big to fail, and for that reason it is much too big to exist. Microsoft needs to be carved into four or five children companies, each of them given a copy of the source code, and sent into the world to compete. I hope we could survive without too much suffering if only 20% of the computers failed at one time... (However, once one of the pieces grows past 40% of the market, it should be cut into pieces again. Don't think of it as a penalty for success. Think of it as a form of forced growth and evolution in action.)

(At home I spend almost all of my time using Ubuntu.)"
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God help you if you read their email!

shanen shanen writes  |  about 6 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Hey, it's okay if they read *OUR* email for any reason or no reason, with or without a warrant. However, if you try to read *THEIR* email, then the shite shall rain down upon you. All the worse that Palin's private email accounts were being used to hide government business from those slimy voters.

The minor news is the FBI has just raided someone's apartment trying to find the person who published Palin's email. What if someone finds out that Palin isn't qualified for the job? Wouldn't that imply McCain isn't qualified, too? Oh. Wait.

However, the big news is the big question: How the devil is this race close? Are their really *THAT* many stupid Americans?"

Link to Original Source
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Should /. sell off unused low IDs?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "If /. wants to raise money, they should find the unused user IDs and auction off the low ones. Wouldn't you like a vanity ID number? How about a prime ID? (Well, actually I wouldn't pay for it, but they keep asking for donations... Heck, I wouldn't send them money even if they fixed the moderation system.)"
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Network outages in California

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Maybe you know the scoop? After all, /. itself was inaccessible for a couple of hours there. Still no access to a number of major websites that are probably physically located in northern California. Examples include findlaw.com, and sfgate.com — and slashdot.org until a couple of minutes ago. Most of the error messages say the site is taking too long to respond, which might suggest partial routing failures? Other times the errors are more serious, as in apparent DNS failures.

Perhaps it's only international traffic (from Japan in my case) that's affected? Anyway, earlier traceroutes all showed ATT routings dying in LA, and my current traces show Savvis.net, but dying in LA or Santa Clara."
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Anti-technology technologies?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "This article from the NY Times about Charging by the Byte to Curb Internet Traffic caught my eye. I thought the exchange of information over the Internet was supposed to be a good thing, eh? Couldn't we use technology more constructively? For example, if there is too much network traffic for video and radio channels, why don't we offset with the increased use of P2P technologies like BitTorrent? Why don't we use networks of wireless networks to reduce the traffic on the wired infrastructure? Such technologies often have highly desirable properties. For example, BitTorrent is excellent for rapidly increasing the availability of popular files while automatically balancing the network traffic, since the faster and closer connections will automatically wind up being favored.

Instead, we have an increasing trend for anti-technology technologies and twisted narrow economic solutions such as discussed in the NY Times article, and attempts to restrict the disruptive communications technologies. You may remember how FM radio was delayed for years... Part of the security requirements of a major company includes anti-P2P software, as well as locking down the wireless communications extremely tightly — but there are still gaps for the bad guys, while the main victims are the legitimate users of these technologies.

Can you think of other examples? Do you have constructive solutions?"
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Lose dope (marijuana) returned

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "The lost drugs were returned, eh? As usual these days, /. is the last to know. I could tell you why, but y'all don't care, so why should I? Just slack off and enjoy my time zone advantage in Japan."
Link to Original Source
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WGA in your face

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "WGA in your face (again) makes you feel:
  1. Like a thief
  2. Resent at the accusation
  3. Microsoft is projecting their ethics
  4. A need to adjust my eye patch — Arrrrh!
  5. Thankful for Linux
  6. Breasts
  7. Most of the above
  8. Less than 50% of the above
  9. None of the above
  10. As omnipotent as Cowboy Neal
  11. Breasts (never too many)
"
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"XP, XP, XP" screams Ballmer, but no actua

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

shanen (462549) writes "Microsoft says not to pay attention to the man with the funny dance and the big office — or have they moved him into a cubicle? Freedom and competition. Ha, ha. Just the punchline for any story involving Microsoft."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Replaced sig

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Tired of bad moderation? Opt out of moderation. If enough of us opt out, maybe they'll fix it.
Ha.

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The messes in Afghanistan and Iraq

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

[A comment from elsewhere in response to Obama's statement that we should shift to Afghanistan.]

Well, I agree Obama should have rejected the label "surge" and he should have emphasized the international aspects--but he was speaking the ugly truth. Unless there are more troops deployed in Afghanistan and unless the country is meaningfully rebuilt, it is going to go back to the way it was. I'd say it could wind up worse, but I'm not sure that's possible--though I'm sure it could cause much larger international problems in the future. There really is a broad international consensus that Afghanistan needs to be fixed, and agreement that it is possible but difficult. However the Taliban have very deep roots. Obama understands the mess.

I'm not defending the Taliban, but I actually think there was a time when it might have been possible to disentangle them from Al Qaeda and deal with the two problems separately. The Taliban was originally a local band of religious lunatics with basically local interests and aspirations, and there are plenty of local nuisances that the world manages to tolerate. However, now that they are completely linked to Al Qaeda, the international threat must be dealt with. The rest of the world is trying, but they just don't have that much force to try with.

Meanwhile, back in the incredible mess that the Dick Cheney has made of Iraq, our troops cannot put Humpty Dumpty back together again. The rest of the world accepts that we've created a new little Iran. They don't particularly like that, but they didn't like Saddam much either, even before the puppet got uppity. The rest of the world accepts that Iran has won, but they've been able to deal with Iran in the past, and think that they can deal with Iraq in the future as a kind of junior Iran. Many countries would also be willing to accept the three-way division of the country, with the notable exception of Turkey. (By the way, I think that's the real reason the why many relatively rational Iranians want nuclear weapons. I still rate the Turks as militarily stronger than Iran, but Iranian nuclear weapons would at least help counteract that. Certainly a very strong deterrence against a Turkish invasion.)

I don't think America has any real influence in Iraq now, and it doesn't matter how many troops we keep there. We are just acting as an irritant while the various Iraqi factions squabble about how much autonomy they can have from Iran. Fortunately, there is agreement among most Iraqis that they also don't like Al Qaeda interference any more than they like American interference. It might be expensive to keep the Sunni's firmly against Al Qaeda--and we had better start paying those bribes more reliably--but we get the Shia hatred of Al Qaeda for free.

Actually,the only path to a greater loss in Iraq would be if we somehow pushed the Shia into supporting Al Qaeda, or even one of the major Shia factions. I want to believe that is fundamentally impossible, but George Dubya Bush has abundantly shown that you should never say any miserable failure is too impossible for him. Also, it is rather frightening that Al Qaeda understands the Shia much better than we do, so it is possible they could also change their pitch to them.

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another ex-sig

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Negative mods let lazy cowards censor opinions and stifle discussions. Write well and disappear. Slashdot sickness.

(recording the demise of another sig)

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Problems with women?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Slashdot as a dating service? Well, if there are many female readers, they are certainly doing a good job of hiding themselves.

However, my speculation on the general topic is that most women are holding out for Mr Wonderful, whereas most men are only Mr Adequate. Many of the women hold out too long and wind up as old maids, even though they'd be happier married, even to Mr Adequate. Why do they make the mistake? Because the women are making false inferences about the availability of Mr Wonderful. Many women base their sampling on movies and television, where the large majority of 'featured' men are Mr Wonderful. How much camera time does Mr Adequate get?

Based on my real world sampling, I would say that there are very few men who actually qualify as Mr Wonderful, and they are all married at a young age. There is a much larger group of men who are skilled at pretending to be Mr Wonderful. Some of them are serial polygamists and the others are just pure cads.

If I'm so smart about these things, why didn't I ever get married? Simple. I'm just Mr Adequate and stupidly honest about it. Or as Popeye put it, "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam."

Oh yes, I should note that there's a statistical distortion working against me, too. The fake Mr Wonderfuls "use up" a lot of women. I don't blame them for being once bitten, twice shy--but it makes me think we'd have a very different and less frustrating world if the gender ratio was heavily in favor of the women...

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Anti-spam idea for Gmail

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

How to make Gmail the spam target of absolute last resort.

The goal of this suggestion is to intelligently leverage and focus Google's expertise and credibility against the spammers and their accomplices. But where will the intelligence come from? From me, from you, from *ANYONE* who has a Gmail account and who wants to help oppose the annoying evil that is spam. Aggressively implemented, it could make Gmail into Spammer Heck--maybe to the point where only a fool would send spam to Gmail. (Yeah, there are plenty of fool spammers--but at least we'd get the laughs without the serious spammers.) Less spam = more value in Gmail.

So do you want to fight against spam? You, too, could become a WSF (wannabee spam fighter).

SpamSlam is my 'working draft' label. The idea is roughly based on other anti-spam systems--but with more smarts. Almost all email systems include one level of feedback in a Spam/NotSpam button. (For relative brevity and because it simplifies the draft implementation, I'm focusing on Web-based email here.) Think of SpamSlam as a report-spam-button on steroids. SpamSlam would report the spam, but also do much more. Essentially this Gmail feature would do some of the automatic analysis that any spam fighter has to do, get some intelligent feedback, and hopefully be able to act immediately against the spammer. Speed of action is actually crucial--cutting off the spammers' income is a key goal of this proposal.

Here is an approach to implementing it:

Clicking on SpamSlam would first trigger a low-cost automatic analysis of the email, including the headers. Let's call this Pass 0. Basically this is just using regular expressions to find things like email addresses, URLs, and phone numbers. The results would be used to generate a Pass 0 webform with comments and options (and explanations and links). This pass should also look for obfuscation and ask the wannabe spam fighter (WSF) to help break the spammers' attempts to evade the spam filters. (This is leveraging the spam's features against the spam--if a human can't figure out the spam, then the human can't send money to the spammer.) In many cases, this Pass 0 analysis may be able to suggest answers. If something like "drop@dead.com" appears in the header, then the WSF should just click the option 'fake email'. Perhaps the WSF would only need to click a check box to confirm that "V/1/A/6/R/A" is a drug and categorize the spam. Other times the WSF can actually type in the answer to the spammer's quasi-CAPTCHA, and then the SpamSlam function can do something. At the bottom of the 'exploded email' in Pass 0, there will be the usual submit button.

After the WSF submits that Pass 0 form, more analysis can begin. The data is no longer raw, but partly analyzed, and the system can start checking domains, registrars, relays, fancier types of header forgery, MX records, categories of crime, email routings, and even things like countries hosting the spammer. This kind of analysis will probably take a bit of time, but a new Pass 1 form will be prepared for the WSF to consider. Basically, this would mostly be a confirmation step for the obvious counteractions. That's stuff like complaining to identified senders and webhosts, but also things like reporting open relays and spambots. It also needs more flexibility and 'other' options in the responses at this point--we all know the spammers are constantly going to try to devise new tactics. Again there will be a submit option at the bottom for this Pass 1 form.

That will probably cover most of the responses, but in some cases there may still be a need for a Pass 2 form. I imagine that would be a kind of escalation system, mostly to address new forms of spam. There is no closure on spam, there will always be new kinds of spam, and the responses to spam need to be open and flexible, too--but fast. The spammer is trying to open millions of little windows of economic opportunity--and in an ideal world we should slam all of them before a nickel gets through.

Beyond that? I think Gmail should also rate the WSFs on their spam-fighting skills. Some people are going to be much better at fighting spam. I admit that I want to earn a "Spam Fighter First Class" merit badge. Come to think of it, I also want the system to keep records of the spam I've slammed and how it was dealt with. Maybe they'd even spot cases of lawsuits against "my" spammers? Gosh, I'd love to join in and personally help put a spammer in jail. I know we're supposed to hate the spam, not the spammers--but I confess. I hate the spammers, too.

An earlier version of this idea (SuperReport) had a somewhat different focus and more details, especially for the Pass 0 webform--but obviously none of this is set in stone. If you agree with these ideas--or have some better ones, I suggest you try to call them to Google's attention. Actually, in my pursuit of this idea, I have been surprised to encounter a lot of anti-Google sentiment--though not surprised that much of the ill will was spam-related. However, I think Google is still an innovative and responsive company--and they claim they want to fight evil, too. Will they try harder to fight spam if many people like you and I write to them? I hope so, but it doesn't really matter where ideas come from or who gets credit--what matters is annoying the spammers more than they annoy us.

By the way, thanks to the people who offered thoughtful comments on the earlier draft. I'd like to thank you more personally, but you basically got lost in the flood of hopeless fools and sock puppets. That's a separate SNR problem.

As SMTP exists, we can never eliminate spam or spammers--but we can give them heck. If this suggestion is aggressively implemented, then spam sent to Gmail would almost immediately result in a flood of highly focused and thoughtful complaints against the spammer--before the spammer can get *ANY* money from the spam. Hit the spammer in his wallet *BEFORE* he can pocket anything.

The summary: Do you hate spam? Do you want to help fight the spammers? Yes, we can. If Gmail was the spam target of last choice, then it should be our email service of first choice!

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Collection of old sigs

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Old sig: The truth alone will not make you free, but it's a prerequisite.
Only by knowing the truth can you choose freedom.

We don't need no stinking bio! Seriously, mine is too confused for this possibly mixed company. Been there, done that, wound up in Japan? Dumbest hobby was probably the pilot's license. Almost all of the "real" stuff involves computers, however: programming, sales, technical editing, whatever.

Old sig: The thoughtful we write at once, but insightful takes a little longer... Too bad the moderators have already left.

Longhorn? But a steer has no balls! It takes REAL balls to claim Microsoft software "just works"! The modern BIG lie.

The thoughtful we write at once, but insightful takes a little longer... Too bad the moderators have already left.

Everyone's crazy save thee and I, and sometimes I wonder about thee.(Always a metamod, never a moderator (but once).

Microsoft presumes I am guilty of "non-registered" Windows after they rammed it down my throat! I refuse to REregister!

Everyone's crazy save thee and I, and sometimes I wonder about thee. OTOH, Microsoft is crazy, greedy, monopolistic,...

Insight here? Why would anyone put so much effort into Slashdot? The anonymous and elitist mod system is borken (sic).

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Other old sigs

shanen shanen writes  |  about 7 years ago

Old sig: The truth alone will not make you free, but it's a prerequisite.
Only by knowing the truth can you choose freedom.

We don't need no stinking bio! Seriously, mine is too confused for this possibly mixed company. Been there, done that, wound up in Japan? Dumbest hobby was probably the pilot's license. Almost all of the "real" stuff involves computers, however: programming, sales, technical editing, whatever.

Old sig: The thoughtful we write at once, but insightful takes a little longer... Too bad the moderators have already left.

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Replacing another vintage sig.

shanen shanen writes  |  about 7 years ago

"What axe are you grinding?"
"It's called objective scientific truth."
"On /.? No karma for you!

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The real killer and Karl Rove?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 7 years ago My favorite 'real reason' for Rove's departure? He has to stop his son from endorsing a Democratic candidate, hopefully Edwards or Obama. We should start a pool on the real killer... No wait, I meant the real reason that Rove resigned. Unfortunately, given Rove's penchant for secrecy and his cursed track record of success in hiding his lies, few of us are likely to live long enough to win the pool. I think historians will be unraveling this rats' nest for decades to come--though the real reason could be that someone deep in the quagmire is about to blow the whistle on the entire gang of thieves. In that case, we might live to see it unravel. Two reasons for optimism are possible. A true patriot might have had enough, and I think that some such people still exist within the GOP, if not within Rove's carefully purged neo-GOP wing of the GOP. Alternately, a true rat within the gang might have decided to sell the story while the value is very high. He's not stabbing all his buddies, in the back, he's just bowing to the inevitability of the truth coming out--but making sure he gets the most money possible for getting it out. The first few kiss and tell books are going to have a lot of sensationalist value, but the later ones are going to get boring and won't sell ones--and the last ones will probably be written from prison (as a result of the earlier ones).

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/. still reeks like the big dog's m0e

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I see that I wasn't on the system for 11 months there, but the system has not improved. (I returned for about two weeks in December.) In fact, I notice the moderation system and the actual moderation is still as awful as before, and new observations are that the humor seems much weaker than before, participation seems somewhat lower than before, and the system is still so stupid or buggy as to show last year's posts without any year indication. (The last one is probably an old problem that I never noticed.) As usual, they are promising improvements RSN.

Time to go away for another 11 months? Or maybe 11 years?

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Final visit to /.?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 8 years ago

The following comment was prepared in response to a new article about IBM. Then I was notified it could not be posted due to excessive bad posting. That is pure and simple BS. In fact, I have have not posted from this part of Japan for over a week. Not sure how it was done, but basically sure it was more moderation abuse by the anonymous Bushevik trolls. Being an effective spokesman for positions they dislike, their goal is to censor me if possible. My karma had just recovered to Excellent from the last round of BS moderation. So what the devil are the /. "editors" being paid for if they can't tell the difference between use and abuse of their own moderation system?

In response, I have already visited digg and kuro5hin, though I don't like either of them too much... The kuro5hin system is minor, and digg is technically narrow, though it runs very quickly.

The comment:

First I better include the disclaimer that I'm in the IBM 'food chain', and I also own some IBM stock (as well as shares of a number of high tech companies).

My own belief on this is that that IBM is an unusually ethical company, though (I feel) there has been an increasing focus on stock prices over the recent years. I think that is a mistake. Now they say 'shareholder value.' They used to say a company was in business to make money. Wrongo and again awrongo. A business is in business to STAY in business. Of course profits help, but that's not the purpose or objective.

If you buy my premise that IBM is unusually ethical, why are they getting so much rapid heat in comparison to the very slow boil on such totally unethical companies as Enron and SCO? I think it is actually a reverse version of political pandering, and the real reason is because IBM doesn't encourage any political donations. That sort of neutrality has become an issue.

I'm sure that some of the Busheviks out there are going to jump up with the official talking point that both parties are corrupt and money grubbing, Jack Abramoff and all the other evidence notwithstanding to prove the bias of the big money. I certainly agree that the Democrats are able to raise some money from companies, but I think there still a difference there. The Republican donors see their donations as investments. In the most extreme case, Dubya's largest donor was Enron, and they hoped that investment was going to keep them above water. In contrast, Democratic donors are sometimes principled, or they may see their donations as 'insurance'. Even when they do see those donations as investements, you can argue that long-term investments in the balance of powers are the best way to make the system work--especially when you see how quickly the system is breaking down as the balances are dismantled.

In conclusion, I think the focus on IBM is because they have been sitting on the political fence. This is becoming a big no-no.

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Republican ultra-hypocrisy in action

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 7 years ago

With regards to the NSA spying on Americans, I think the aspect that most disgusts me is not that they've been monitoring all this information. That sort of went without saying. I'm not even particularly amazed by Dubya's brazen disregard of the law. I think the aspect that most disgusts me is how quickly they decided they needed to have the criminal investigation of the disclosure. Something like investigating the security failures around 9/11 they were willing to stall for years. However, this one they need to ramp up as quickly as possible. Why? Bloody obvious. They want to intimidate various other people who have information about Dubya's impeachability. You don't think this is the last of their dirty secrets, do you?

Dubya's new 'atmosphere' of American politics:

"I don't want to obey that law, and you can't make me, you can't make me, you can't make me!"

"But you promised."

Yeah, the last part is the Democratic Party response whining about Dubya's little old presidential oath.

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More abuse of anonymous moderation:

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Today's abuse of moderation:

Comment Moderation
sent by Slashdot Message System on Sunday January 01, @09:05AM

Re:There's some sort of joke...., posted to Wikipedia Semi-Protection Begins, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Troll (0).

Re:There's some sort of joke...., posted to Wikipedia Semi-Protection Begins, has been moderated Flamebait (-1).

It is currently scored Flamebait (-1).

Re:There's some sort of joke...., posted to Wikipedia Semi-Protection Begins, has been moderated Flamebait (-1).

It is currently scored Flamebait (1).

Re:great letter!, posted to What's wrong with the MSM newspapers, has been moderated Offtopic (-1).

It is currently scored Offtopic (-1).

Small world coincidence--sent last week, posted to Why Haven't Online Newspapers Gotten it Right?, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Informative (1).

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Credit card without a limit?

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 8 years ago

[From another site, in response to a prediction of the government hitting the debt ceiling in February.]

Actually, it's been going on for many years. They just keep raising the debt limit--and then they continue right on borrowing more money until they "use up" the new credit limit.

Think of it in different terms. Imagine that a credit card holder was allowed to raise his credit limit whenever he wanted to. That's actually quite close to the situation we have here.

Some people might be able to raise their limits responsibly, but it's kind of hard to imagine. If you're living within your means in the first place, why do you need to borrow money? If there is some kind of special problem, maybe you need a little extra money to tide you over, but what happens when you've been living on credit for as long as you can remember? What's the difference if you owe a bit more?

Well, the situation with the federal government is that they've always lived on trust. It says "In God We Trust" on the money, but God doesn't have much to do with it, if you ask me. It's always been a matter of whether or not the recipient of the paper believes it's worth anything. We're back to 'any power will be abused' again. In this case, the government has said that HAVE to trust the money, and if you refuse payment in their official money, then they won't help you collect the debt.

Now the situation has been turned on its head. The government has become like the customer with a red hot credit card that keeps raising the limit. The situation is already beyond the point that our customer even imagines the debt can be paid off--but someone keeps accepting the IOUs. Excuse me, but this can't go on forever. At some point it's going to be obvious that the customer is broke, and further IOUs will not be useful.

Of course the amusing punchline is that this is being done in the name of the 'responsible spending' Republican Party.

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What's wrong with the MSM newspapers

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Email sent to a newspaper:

I understand that newspapers such as the Austin American-Statesman (AAS) are increasingly concerned about declining readership. Many years ago, I read the AAS frequently. Pretty sure I was a subscriber at least some of the time, though it's so long ago that I can't really remember for sure. Therefore, I write on behalf of your lost readers, though I think I write from the 'leading edge' of that trend. My main message to you is that I see no sign of increasing attraction, either in general or as a result of today's website visit (to be addressed below). If you're waiting for me to resubscribe, I have to resort to the cliché: "Don't hold your breath."

First I'll address the general issue. Why would I want to read your newspaper? As a media organization, I think you have only two real assets: integrity and credibility. Do you speak the truth? And are you believed when you speak it? As already noted, I don't have enough recent contact with the AAS to address these assets specifically in your case, but I do think I can say that if you were doing a better job, then the AAS would have emerged visibly from the morass that is the modern MainStream Media (MSM). Since the AAS has not 'emerged' in that sense, I'm just classifying you with all the other MSM newspapers that I sample at random via recommended links to articles on their websites. In summary, the MSM rarely tells the complete truth, they often repeat unfounded and usually partisan lies, and why would I pay them for 'information' that has to be cross-checked and verified? (By the way, that even includes indirect payment via advertisers. No click-throughs from me.)

These large issues go too far afield, though I could say much more on them. Today, I visited your website for a highly specific reason, and I was quite disappointed. I should have known, but optimistic to the last, eh? The specific public issue which is troubling me is American-government-sponsored torture. The specific information I sought was a list of the Texas Representatives who joined the loser Senator Cornyn in opposing Senator McCain's legislation against torture. I do know that some of the Representatives from Texas were among the 112 members of the House that voted futilely along with Cornyn, and I want to know if my Representative from North Austin was among them. If so, I would like to start now in supporting his political opponent, though there are only a few days left to make such a donation in 2005. Perhaps the information exists somewhere in the AAS website, but I think not. I think you simply ignored the issue. Typical MSM behavior--and that's why I didn't even bother to write a "letter to the editor" on the topic. (There's also the minor reason that I am in general only an accidental reader of the AAS these years.)

My own belief is that such torture is an extremely serious matter that ought to be receiving *MUCH* more coverage. When I first read about this issue (in non-MSM sources), I was greatly offended and ashamed. I felt that I should express my outrage to the 'Senator'--who is certainly failing to represent me. I do not know if I succeeded, though I do know that I never received any response from him or from his staff. I think it most likely he never got my message because it isn't the sort of thing he wants to hear, and he has no sincere interest in representing anyone who doesn't agree with him. Cornyn's only concern is with his *LARGE* campaign donors.

Following is a copy of the message I attempted to send to Cornyn:

Your name appeared on a list of the nine Senators who opposed Senator McCain's anti-torture amendment. If that is incorrect, then please provide me with the corrected list and I will apologize. However, I think my source was reliable, and that you did vote against this amendment. Speaking specifically as an honorably discharged veteran, I wish to express my strongest displeasure and outrage at your action.

Torture does *NOT* work. It does not produce reliable information, but merely encourages the victim to say or do anything that he or she believes will stop the torture. Even worse, it destroys the humanity of the torturer. On the other hand, it does work for our enemies, inspiring them to greater hatred for our evil actions and helping them to recruit more extremists to oppose that evil.

I do not see any basis for attempting to reason with you about this issue. If you think there are *ANY* cases where torture is justified, then I regard you as insane. As I started writing, I was going to suggest that I would consider your explanation for your action, but as writing clarified my thinking, I realized that would be a waste of our time. Instead, I simply strongly encourage you to withdraw from politics and from any form of public visibility. I will certainly vote against you, and do everything I can to encourage other people to vote against you. Though I can't vote against your eight torture-loving peers, I will donate money to their opponents--and of course to your opponent. I certainly hope that your political career is over. You make me feel shamed that such a madman can claim to be my political representative.

Not much point in sending this, is there? However, I've taken the time to compose it, and it's barely conceivable that you can send me some response that would convince me you have recovered your sanity.

For reference, I've left the list [of Senators advocating torture] here:

>> Wayne Allard, Colorado
>> Kit Bond, Missouri
>> Tom Coburn, Oklahoma
>> Thad Cochran, Mississippi
>> John Cornyn, Texas
>> James Inhofe, Oklahoma
>> Pat Roberts, Kansas
>> Jeff Sessions, Alabama
>> Ted Stevens, Alaska

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The Not-so-good Samaritan

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 8 years ago A man was passing next to a bridge, and he saw another fellow who was about to jump off.

Wait! Don't jump!
I have nothing to live for.
Wait! Are you religious?
Well, yes.
Are you a Christian?
Yes.
That's good. So am I. What's your church?
I'm a Baptist.
That's wonderful. That's my church.
Small world, eh?
So is your church in the reform of 1927 or 1934?
We accept the 1927 reforms.
Die, you heretic!

And he pushes the guy off the bridge.

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Another example of poor moderation

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Another example of abuse of the moderation system. At least I'm pretty sure it is targetted negative moderation with no real purpose except to reduce my karma in hopes of making my posts less visible. If the identity infomation were not hidden, I'm pretty sure most of those negative mods come from the same troll. For example, one of them is targetted at a two-line post that said something totally trivial. Not worth the effort of moderating in any direction--but the total number of negative mods comes to five. That's also the total number of mod points you normally get, so it would seem the troll blew his whole quota on me.

Another example of the remarkable stupidity of the Busheviks. My normal favorable moderations pretty much negated the troll's 'best shot'.

Here's the moderation report (but I tried to add a border to make it more visible):

Comment Moderation
sent by Slashdot Message System on Saturday December 03, @09:05AM

No the real problem is bankruptcy , posted to A Recipe for Newspaper Survival in the Internet Age , has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Normal (0).

Re:Built for Linux , posted to Desktop Linux Survey Results Published , has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Normal (0).

Is that a threat or a promise? , posted to Diebold Threatens to Pull Out of North Carolina , has been moderated Flamebait (-1).

It is currently scored Flamebait (0).

Re:Who to blame more than the RIAA? , posted to First RIAA Lawsuit to Head to Trial , has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (2).

Re:Who to blame more than the RIAA? , posted to First RIAA Lawsuit to Head to Trial , has been moderated Underrated (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Re:Who to blame more than the RIAA? , posted to First RIAA Lawsuit to Head to Trial , has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (4).

Re:Who to blame more than the RIAA? , posted to First RIAA Lawsuit to Head to Trial , has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Re:Who to blame more than the RIAA? , posted to First RIAA Lawsuit to Head to Trial , has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Interesting (2).

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Voting doesn't matter. It's just the money.

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 8 years ago

A lot of pundits are saying that last week's election shows something new or a surprising change in voter trends. The only surprising thing is that anyone still listens to such stupid pundits. All this election shows is that money buys votes and that modern American politics is just a war of big money. This is true in all of the elections, but the mayor's race in New York City is the best example. The only interesting question there is why he wanted to spend so much money to buy the relatively minor office of mayor.

I'd give the voters more credit if they had sold their votes for cash on the barrelhead. That's illegal in these "enlightened" days, but it doesn't change the big money reality. The political-power-buyers just have to disguise it a bit now. As a candidate, it doesn't matter what your policies are or what kind of person you are or anything else. The only thing that matters is coming up with the scratch--millions of dollars. (It does matter a little bit what kind of person you can pretend to be, but the Reagan/Dubya problem is relatively minor compared to the overwhelming influence of big money.)

Root cause? Easily manipulated voters. Show the voters enough of the appropriate ads, usually slash-and-burn attack ads, and many of them will even vote for a total incompetent and loser like George Dubya Bush.

Deeper root cause? "Free" advertiser-sponsored radio. An innovative (~70 years ago) economic model that ultimately led to rightwing talk radio. Finest propaganda ever! It was also propagated into TV where it led to increasingly mindless programs, and now it threatens the intellectual foundations of the Internet, too. The funny part is that the policy-makers of those days understood the risks and required that the public's interests should be protected. Thus started an erosive process that culminated when Reagan's handlers stripped off the last major protections. The negative dynamic is pretty obvious, however. Advertisers do not want well-educated and thoughtful citizens. They want easily manipulated suckers. That's how you get the most bang for your advertising buck--and the bucks have finally won out. Intelligent voting has to be reality-based, but advertising is NOT about the truth.

In conclusion, nothing matters except for the money. Good for a 20% margin in NYC! The only problem in New Jersey was that the Republican couldn't afford to run the ex-wife-attacks-ex-hubby ad enough times. If you actually believe (as I do) that freedom and democracy are good things and that they confer competitive advantages on the societies that have the most of them, then the sad conclusion is that America is doomed.

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shanen shanen writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Some foe obviously got his moderation dose:

Comment Moderation
sent by Slashdot Message System on Thursday November 10, @09:05AM

Brings back bad memories..., posted to School Power Over Student Web Speech?, has been moderated Offtopic (-1).

It is currently scored Offtopic (0).

Re:I'm confused, posted to Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn Awarded Medal of Freedom, has been moderated Flamebait (-1).

It is currently scored Flamebait (0).

Re:They should turn down the medals., posted to Vint Cerf and Robert Kahn Awarded Medal of Freedom, has been moderated Flamebait (-1).

It is currently scored Flamebait (0).

Re:Theory^WIntro on /. needs work, posted to Vatican Rejects Intelligent Design?, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Normal (1).

Re:your sig, posted to Microsoft Plans Deliberate Xbox 360 Shortage, has been moderated Offtopic (-1).

It is currently scored Offtopic (0).

Brings back bad memories..., posted to School Power Over Student Web Speech?, has been moderated Flamebait (-1).

It is currently scored Flamebait (-1).

top

28 moderations in *ONE* moderation report

shanen shanen writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Below is one moderation report message which I received today. Some of them, especially the one for older posts, are almost certainly more ad-hominem abuses of the moderation system. Knowing who submitted those moderations would of course be the easiest way to look for obvious patterns.

Comment Moderation
sent by Slashdot Message System on Thursday November 03, @09:05AM

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

Re:Considering how much data is out there?, posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (2).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Considering how much data is out there?, posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

Re:weasel word, posted to Significant FBI Abuses of the Patriot Act, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Troll (0).

Re:weasel word, posted to Significant FBI Abuses of the Patriot Act, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Troll (0).

Re:alas, parting is...., posted to Significant FBI Abuses of the Patriot Act, has been moderated Offtopic (-1).

It is currently scored Offtopic (0).

Re:Answer: This is truly evil, posted to Sony DRM Installs a Rootkit?, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Troll (0).

Re:Anti-Scientists are Political Manipulators, posted to Is The U.S. Becoming Anti-Science?, has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Troll (0).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Re:Considering how much data is out there?, posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (4).

Re:Considering how much data is out there?, posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Offtopic (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Considering how much data is out there?, posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (4).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Offtopic (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Re:Considering how much data is out there?, posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (5).

Sony is losing it, posted to More on Sony's "DRM Rootkit", has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (2).

Sony is losing it, posted to More on Sony's "DRM Rootkit", has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Sony is losing it, posted to More on Sony's "DRM Rootkit", has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (4).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (4).

Sony is losing it, posted to More on Sony's "DRM Rootkit", has been moderated Flamebait (-1).

It is currently scored Interesting (3).

Re:Considering..., posted to Identity Theft-What Can Really be Done w/o a SSN?, has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

Sony is losing it, posted to More on Sony's "DRM Rootkit", has been moderated Interesting (+1).

It is currently scored Interesting (4).

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