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Comments

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Say Goodbye To That Unwanted U2 Album

smooth wombat Re:Downloading music for free? Scandelous! (282 comments)

Hasn't the RIAA been filing suits against people for downloading music without paying for it for a decade or so?

You paid for this music when you bought the phone.

Keep trying.

12 hours ago
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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

smooth wombat Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (149 comments)

You can only lower taxes if you lower your spending. I have yet to see any government entity, Federal or State, do so.

Further, if you have read The Federalist Papers you will see both how naive Madison, Hamilton and Day were on the tax issue, as well as their ideas on taxes in general. They square, more or less, with how things are done in that those who make more should pay more not as a form of punishment but only because they can.

However, this should be taken in context as in their day the difference between the rich and everyone else was just as wide as it is today but it was somewhat easier for a person to move up the financial ladder than it is today for numerous reasons.

As to taxing the rich, see above. It's not a punishment, regardless of what some on the left will say, but only the fact that they can afford to pay more without that extra money affecting their lifestyles. Compare someone making $50K/year who has a 2% increase in their federal tax rate to someone making $250K/year. That 2% impacts them significantly more than the second person even though the amount is more in the latter case.

If we're going to lower taxes we need to make across the board cuts. There are no sacred cows. Reduce the Social Security programs, cut out military projects, stop most food and fuel subsidies, remove tax loopholes and tax benefits to a bare minimum (mortgage deduction, depreciation, etc), and so on.

At this point there is no other way to lower taxes other than cutting what we spend and having, in this case Nevada, spend over $1 billion of its taxpayers money does not help the matter. That lost money has to come from somewhere and it will not be made up by those employed at the plant, those who build the extra road and development, the ones who feed these people and everything else. It won't happen. A large portion of that money will never be recovered in any form.

So the argument becomes, if we want to lower taxes we have to cut our spending or if not, the tax code needs to be rejiggered so more money can be found to keep paying for all the subsidies and the like we keep spending money on.

4 days ago
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Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

smooth wombat Re:Why is this legal in the U.S.? (149 comments)

It happens regularly in this country. The taxpayers get the shaft so private industry doesn't have spend their money. Our football teams (U.S. football, not your football), when they need a new stadium, threaten to take their team to another city unless the taxpayers cough up their money to build the new stadium and related matters, while the team continues to charge exorbitant prices.

This country wastes hundreds of billions of dollars each year by making sure private industry doesn't have to suffer the pangs of going out and getting financing for its projects like the rest of us do when we want to buy a home or do major repairs.

Don't forget we used several trillion dollars to prop up our banks and financial firms when, through their own incompetence, our financial system went into meltdown. These folks then used the taxpayer money to give themselves bonuses for the great job they did AND have told us taxpayers to go pound sand any time it is mentioned they should thank us for protecting them.

For all our talk about free markets and capitalism, we are incrementally closer to fascism than we are to a representative democracy. Industry, as a whole, gets what it wants, even if it means the taxpayers have to bend over and take it.

4 days ago
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L.A. TV Stations Free Up Some Spectrum For Wireless Broadband

smooth wombat Of course they don't need the full spectrum (79 comments)

digital TV broadcasts don't need the full 6MHz of broadcast spectrum that was used for analog TV.

Which is why the signal is worse than analog. Clipping, blocky shadows, dropped signals.

The only time digital has been better was the move to DVD from VHS/Beta and CDs from tape. 78s and 45s are still better than digital.

4 days ago
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Accused Ottawa Cyberbully Facing 181 Charges Apologizes

smooth wombat Re:Right. (140 comments)

Or he's taking personal responsibility and accepting whatever awaits him because he knew what he did was wrong.

Unlike the guy who deliberately put his equipment in someone else's closet, attempted to hide that equipment, then whined when he was caught and tried to claim he was the victim before he killed himself.

5 days ago
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The Grassroots Future of Biohacking

smooth wombat It's not hard to improve (63 comments)

"It's extremely difficult to 'improve' on the lethality of nature.

So the cross between ebola and the common cold, which was a terrible, terrible thing, wasn't an improvement on lethality?

about a week ago
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Information Theory Places New Limits On Origin of Life

smooth wombat Re:Thermodynamic equilibrium is not required (211 comments)

What about the tons of dust and debris that fall to Earth every single day? What about the heat this planet radiates out, the loss of gases that occur naturally?

We do not have a closed system. Period. You can be ignorant and attempt to argue it all you want, but you will always be wrong.

Always.

about a week ago
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Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

smooth wombat Re:Parole? (258 comments)

Because people who smoke weed never rob anyone to get money or drive around stoned out of their gourd and wreck into people.

about a week ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

smooth wombat Re:"Death to Gamers and Long Live Videogames" (1134 comments)

I always like it when the gays come out. That's always their first thought.

It's like Fred Phelps and his obsession with gays. I mean gees guy, give it a rest (technically he is because he's dead). We understood you were a closeted gay, but did you have to overcompensate so much?

about two weeks ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

smooth wombat Re:"Death to Gamers and Long Live Videogames" (1134 comments)

She even admitted flat out on twitter to having sex for publicity

Apparently there are some desperate people in the gaming industry because speaking for myself, she is not attractive. Not hideous but not someone I'd consider, even when drunk.

But each to their own, right? More power to them if they felt the only way to get the goods on her games was to sleep with her.

about two weeks ago
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Tesla's Next Auto-Dealer Battleground State: Georgia

smooth wombat So much for less government regulation (157 comments)

Isn't Georgia one of those states where a majority of the folks rail against government intrusion and regulations into the private sector?

Must be nice to talk out of both sides of your mouth. Maybe they should get a gig as a sideshow freak.

about two weeks ago
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New Usage-Based Insurance Software Can Track Drivers Using Smartphones

smooth wombat What if no phone? (137 comments)

What if someone doesn't have a smart phone but a solid, reliable "dumb" phone? What then? Are they going to be penalized because they can't be tracked?

Bite me. Insurance is enough of a scam now as it is. Having them track you in real time is pathetic. If they want to see how good a driver I am, see how many accidents I've had.

None? Well guess what, I must be pretty damn good not to have hit anyone in the decades I've been driving so stop raising my rates every year.

about two weeks ago
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The Frustrations of Supporting Users In Remote Offices

smooth wombat Re:Au contraire! (129 comments)

They provide this crappy support because they can get away with it.

You're lying. Everyone knows private industry is so much more efficient and responsive than the government so you're just making up this shit.

Private industry would NEVER treat their customers in the manner you described. They would bend over backwards, expending all needed time, effort and money to make sure your problem is resolved quickly and efficiently.

For those who don't grasp sarcasm, this was it. I work for a government agency and while we have all the people described in this thread, I can assure you, the private sector is just as incompetent and slow moving as anything the government does. The stories I could tell you about slow response, pawned off troubles and general incompetence. . .

about two weeks ago
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Australian Consumer Watchdog Takes Valve To Court

smooth wombat Re:G'Day Valve, (139 comments)

That said, since the majority of people who do this likely are attemtping to cheat because they couldn't afford many games anyway, the loss of money is likely actually very small since the alternative would be, they don't play the game or download it some other way.

So you're admitting that people are too cheap to buy a game yet somehow can afford all their other shiny toys such as phones, computers, most likely cigarettes and alcohol and a whole host of other items.

The loss of money by people stealing a copy of a game is irrelevant. The fact of the matter is they're trying to justify their theft by claiming poverty while they have all those other gizmos or miraculously find money to spend on other non-essential items.

about three weeks ago
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Russian Military Forces Have Now Invaded Ukraine

smooth wombat Re:Send in the drones! (848 comments)

I mean, how'd you feel if Russia took over Mexico?

If it would stop the illegals from coming into this country, I'd be happy. Even more so if in Russia had its bank accounts drained trying to keep the country running.

about three weeks ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

smooth wombat Re:Slashdot comments indicative of the problem (1262 comments)

Why is it, when faced with stories like this, is your first instinct to claim that the woman lied or made it up?

For the same reason when a woman is raped they immediately blame her for getting herself in that situation.

She shouldn't have gotten drunk.

She shouldn't have worn that short skirt.

She shouldn't have been walking alone at night.

I once worked with a guy who said if a girl in college got raped when she was drunk it was her fault, except of course if it was his daughter in which case he'd shoot the guy.

There will always be those who will blame the women just because they can, without considering any other option because their mindset is such that women are always to blame.

about three weeks ago
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Anita Sarkeesian, Creator of "Tropes vs. Women," Driven From Home By Trolls

smooth wombat And thus. . . (1262 comments)

the stereotype of gamers, and men in general, are perpetuated.

Stereotypes exist for a reason folks. Keep giving reasons to use them.

about three weeks ago
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Death Valley's Sailing Stones Caught In the Act

smooth wombat Re:The Lonely Assassins (48 comments)

The only issue I had with the Weeping Angels is the part about them not moving so long as they are seen by any living creatures.

It would seem that birds, mice, rats, squirrels, etc would qualify as living creatures so when Rory and Amy were sent away, how could the last Angel have moved when presumably some other creatures was watching it?

It's one thing if you're in a building (or cave where the only route out is up) where, presumably, you are the only creature able to see them, but outside is another matter.

about three weeks ago
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CenturyLink: Comcast Is Trying To Prevent Competition In Its Territories

smooth wombat Re:what's wrong with cherry picking? (110 comments)

This goes back a hundred years when we built "universal access" into our phone system monopoly. Comcast is using it to beat it's competitor over the head

If Comcast's stance is using universal access from the phone system, then they are tacitly admitting they are subject to federal regulation when it comes to internet service.

They can't have it both ways. If they're not subject to regulation because they are a data service, they can't now complain when CenturyLink wants to intrude on their territory while trying to use regulations for a service which they're not subject to as their cudgel.

about three weeks ago
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U.S. Senator: All Cops Should Wear Cameras

smooth wombat Re:I like... (643 comments)

If you get rid of the TSA, there would be tons of money available for such an endeavor.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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Tom Baker: Dr. Who better than real life

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  about 10 months ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "With his long scarf and love of jelly babies, Baker's fourth Doctor remains one of the most instantly recognisable incarnations of the Time Lord. He is also the show's longest-serving star, having played the role from 1974 to 1981. He discussed his time with the series, how he got the role, the fan reactions (then and now) and related matters with the BBC.

Baker admits he never watched the show back then, while he was in it or even now, though he is looking forward to the upcoming 50th anniversary episode on November 23rd."
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Confirmed: pop music too loud, sounds all the same

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "For some time, people have claimed that modern pop music is inherently too loud and bland. Rejoice for it has been confirmed, you were right all along.

Using an archive known as the Million Song Dataset, researchers at the Spanish National Research Council ran music from the last 50 years through some complex algorithms and found that pop songs have become intrinsically louder and more bland in terms of the chords, melodies and types of sound used. Artificial intelligence specialist Joan Serra noted, "We found evidence of a progressive homogenization of the musical discourse.""

Link to Original Source
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Research shows IE users are dumber

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "Many a joke is made at the expense of people who use Internet Explorer for their web browsing activities. You may now add that they are also dumber than those who use other browsers. As the graph on the page shows, those who use Internet Explorer are not only dumber, on average, than those who use other browsers, but that they are even dumber than they were five years ago (when the last survey took place).

It should be noted that those who use a browser other than IE have had their average IQ increase over the same time period. To view the entire report, use this link (pdf)."

Link to Original Source
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(The real) Darth Vader speaks

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "In conjunction with the auction of an original Darth Vader costume from the time of The Empire Strikes Back, the BBC interviewed the man behind the mask, David Prowse.

When asked if he had any idea of how successful the film would become, Prowse replies:

"I thought I was doing a load of rubbish, I really did," he laughs. "You were wandering round looking at all these funny creatures and fantastic sets, but you had no idea what it would look like at the finish."

Prowse also notes he and James Earl Jones, the voice of Vader, have never met but have spoken on the phone a few times."

Link to Original Source
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UK newspaper web sites to become nearly invisible

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "Various web sites have tried to make readers pay for access to select parts of their sites. Now, in a bid to counter what he claims is theft of his material, Rupert Murdoch's Times and Sunday Times web sites will become essentially invisible to web users. Except for their homepages, no stories will show up on Google.

Starting in late June, Google and other search engines will be prevented from indexing and linking to stories. Registered users will still get free access until the cut off date."
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The Road Ahead, by Bill Gates, 15 years later

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "It's been 15 years since Bill Gates wrote his book, The Road Ahead, in which he talks about how technology would shape the future. In the intervening years, technology has changed most aspects of our lives for better or worse. So how did Bill Gates do on his predictions? The Atlantic takes a look at the good and bad of some of his prognostications. Overall, it appears Bill let optimism guide his thoughts, except when it came to the Internet"
Link to Original Source
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How porn drives tech

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "We have all heard how it was the adult industry which initially drove vcr sales and how it is the adult industry which readily embraces new technology. This article from CNN talks about all that and more, including the company who says it is able to bypass Apple's iPad restrictions on adult material. There is even some talk about using AI in the future to have interaction between the porn star and user.

As a side note, the article mentions a new adult movie in the works titled, "3D Zen and Sex" which the producer says "There will be many close-ups. It will look as if the actresses are only a few centimeters from the audience.""
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FCC loses Net Neutrality case to Comcast

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled 3-0 that the FCC does not have the authority to require internet providers to provide equal treatment to internet traffic over their networks.

Comcast had challenged a 2008 FCC order which banned it from blocking the use of BitTorrent by some of its subscribers. It claimed it was throttling traffic to protect all of its users from network congestion.

The FCC had argued the rule was intended to prevent providers from favoring one online content provider over another and had used net neutrality guidelines in implementing the rule.

For the legal reasoning behind the ruling, see this article from Leagle."
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EMI cannot unbundle Pink Floyd songs

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "Before the advent of iTunes and MP3s, EMI and Pink Floyd entered into a contract which stated that EMI could not unbundle individual songs from their original album settings. This was insisted upon by the members of Pink Floyd who wanted to retain artistic control of their works which they considered "seamless" pieces of music.

However, with the advent of digital downloads, EMI has been selling individual songs through its online store. Pink Floyd sued, claiming EMI was violating the contract, whereas EMI said the contract only applied to physical albums, not Internet sales.

Judge Andrew Morritt backed the band, saying the contract protected "the artistic integrity of the albums." Judge Morritt also ruled EMI is "not entitled to exploit recordings by online distribution or by any other means other than the complete original album without Pink Floyd's consent.""
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40 years ago, the Internet was born

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "October 29, 1969. A day that will live in infamy. On that day in history, the first known message was sent over a computer network. The person who witnessed the 'birth' of Internet? Leonard Kleinrock, a professor of computer science at the University of California-Los Angeles.

CNN has a short interview with Kleinrock which discusses the importance of his message as well as his take on the pace of modern technology, privacy, his continued work on the development of the internet and other related issues.

That first message sent? It was intended to be l-o-g and sent to a computer at Stanford Research Institute, but at the moment he sent the letter g, the SRI host crashed so all that was officially sent was lo."
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Artist destroyed evidence in fair use lawsuit

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "As a follow-up to this story, artist Shepard Fairey has now admitted he used the original picture the AP claimed he used as the basis for his iconic red, white and blue image of Obama, underlined with the caption "HOPE" and not a different photo as he initially claimed. Fairey said that he tried to cover up his error by submitting false images and deleting others. As a result, his attorneys have said they intend to withdraw from the case and said the artist had misled them by fabricating information and destroying other material.

At the Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh on Saturday night for the opening of an exhibit of his works, Fairey said that the error should not be viewed as "premeditated and sinister.""

Link to Original Source
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New piece of human evolution puzzle unveiled

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

smooth wombat writes "It's taken 15 years, but in the October 2nd special edition of the magazine Science, 11 papers by 47 authors from 10 countries reveal their findings on the newest addition to the human evolutionary tree. Officially named Ardipithecus ramidus, but nicknamed Ardi, the potential human ancestor lived 1.4 million before the celebrated Lucy skeleton and is also more complete with 125 pieces of its skeleton found.

An interesting aspect of the skeleton is that it bears little resemblance to humans closest living primate ancestor, chimpanzees. As anthropologist C. Owen Lovejoy states in the article:

"It's clear that humans are not merely a slight modification of chimps, despite their genomic similarity.""

Link to Original Source
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NASA running low on fuel for space exploration

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "With the end of the Cold War came warmer relations with old adversaries, increased trade and a world less worried about nuclear war. It also brought with it an unexpected downside: lack of nuclear fuel to power deep space probes. Without this fuel, probes beyond Jupiter won't work because there isn't enough sunlight to use solar panels which probes closer to the sun use.

The fuel NASA relies on to power deep space probes is plutonium-238. This isotope is the result of nuclear weaponry and since the United States has not made a nuclear device in 20 years, the supply has run out. For now, NASA is using Soviet supplies but they too are almost exhausted.

It is estimated it will cost at least $150 million to resume making the 11 pounds per year that is needed for space probes."

Link to Original Source
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GM and Segway team up

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "While GM might be on the verge of bankruptcy, it has teamed with Segway to produce a prototype product which goes by the name of P.U.M.A., or Personal Urban Mobility and Access. Think of it as a souped-up Segway with an enclosed two-seat compartment. It can travel up to 35 miles per hour and go 35 miles on a single charge.

The price of the vehicle is estimated to be about one quarter of a traditional car. In addition, technology will allow vehicle-to-vehicle communication to help avoid traffic problems and potentially allow the vehicle to navigate itself through city streets. The estimated date for final development is sometime in 2012."

Link to Original Source
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Growing a flower in lunar gravity

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "If everything goes according to plan, an experiment designed to test if plants can grow in the limited lunar gravity will hitch a ride with a competitor for the Google Lunar X Prize. The press release from Paragon Space Development Corporation outlines its partnership with Odyssey Moon to be the first to grow a plant on another world. In addition to the experiment, Paragon will be helping Odyssey with the thermal control system and lander design. To win the prize, Odyssey must land its craft on the lunar surface by the end of 2014.

More details about the experiment, and obstacles to overcome, may be found in this MSNBC article."

Link to Original Source
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Ads which change based on who you are

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "Reminiscent of scenes from Minority Report, advertisers are starting to use technology which identifies who is looking at ads on video screens and change the ads accordingly.

Using small cameras embedded in the screens or along the edge, software determines who is looking at ads, for how long, what gender they are, approximate age and in some cases, your ethnicity. If the software identifies you as a young male, they might show ads for video games. For a young woman, cosmetics.

The manufacturers say their systems can accurately determine gender 85 to 90 percent of the time, while accuracy for the other measures continues to be refined."
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Kids charged with hacking dad's PC

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "Two children, aged 22 and 25, have been charged with more than 450 computer crimes including interception, disclosure or use of an electronic communication and unlawful use of a computer. The only reason the two were found out is because their dad was found dead in January of this year and the state police investigation found the violations.

The son admitted to installing a key logger program to 'hack' into their dad's email account and they also secretly installed GPS devices on their dad's car because they were convinced he was leading a double life. Their parents marriage was falling apart and they were sure their dad had a mistress on the side.

The children have not actually been charged with murdering their father, only their computer activities which were done with their mother's knowledge. However, according to State Trooper Robert Kirby, "This was not a random crime," he said. "We're not revealing anybody as suspects, but Mister Ingle was killed definitely by someone he knows — well.""
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Grave and remains of Copernicus found

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "After a four year search, both the grave and remains of Nicolaus Copernicus have been found. Both a priest and astronomer, it was Copernicus' theories which identified the Sun, not the Earth, as the center of the universe.

From the article:

Polish archaeologist Jerzy Gassowski told a news conference that forensic facial reconstruction of the skull that his team found in 2005 buried in a Roman Catholic Cathedral in Frombork, Poland, bears striking resemblance to existing portraits of Copernicus.

The reconstruction shows a broken nose and other features that resemble a self-portrait of Copernicus, and the skull bears a cut mark above the left eye that corresponds with a scar shown in the painting."
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Design your own laptop

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "Jumping on the bandwagon of user-generated content, Intel has teamed up with Asus to allow people to design their own laptops. The two companies on Wednesday unveiled a new Web site, WePC.com, where consumers can work with each other and the tech companies to design netbooks, notebooks or gaming notebooks.

Users share ideas, make recommendations and vote on suggestions. There are even three "conversation groups" where the companies will offer prizes to select participants "for their creative role" in the project.

Some of the suggestions in the article are somewhat interesting but I'm not sure I'd want a laptop with hair that grows."
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International spam ring shut down

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smooth wombat (796938) writes "An international spam ring with ties to Australia, New Zealand, China, India and the United States is in the process of being shut down. Finances of members in the United States are being frozen using the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 while the FBI is pursuing criminal charges. The group sent spam advertising male enhancement herbs and other items using a botnet composed of 35,000 computers able to send 10 billion emails per day.

How well was this ring doing? The F.T.C. (Federal Trade Commission) monitored the groups finances and found in one month alone, they had cleared $400,000 in VISA charges."

Journals

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Woz: Android is better

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

All you Apple fanboys prepare to gnash your teeth, rip out your hair and throw tantrums, the Woz has spoken.

Essentially, Android is more versatile and does things better than the iPhone, including Siri which apparently has problems connecting Woz to one of his favorite steak houses. Woz also doesn't like the fact the you need a connection, at all times, to get voice commands to work.

In short, the iPhone seems to be a violation of Rule #1 of the Three Rules of IT That Should Never Be Broken: never let programmers design your applications.

Woz also isn't thrilled about the short battery life, though Android has its own problems with battery life.

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It's official: Google sucks like Microsoft

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

No, not in the search field. Bing has that sown up quite nicely. I'm talking about getting the version of the software you want.

I had a request to install Google Earth on some machines here at work. Why, don't know considering who will be using it but that's my orders and I carry them out.

So I go to earth.google.com and get the message that I can download Google Earth 6. I select the option and find that 6 is a beta but, and this is key, they do offer the stable 5.2 version.

Obviously I select the stable version because this is a production environment. I also uncheck installing of Chrome and making Chrome my default browser.

I check the "Yes, I Agree" option and right before I click the button to download I notice something. My option for 5.2 is not available. In fact, I am now forced to download the version I didn't want.

Thinking I'm missing something, I go through the entire process again but this time, I watch how the screen changes before my eyes.

Yup, it doesn't matter if I want the 5.2 version, Google is going to force the 6 version on me. In addition, I am forced, yes, forced, to accept that Earth will check for updates automatically. I cannot unselect this option. There was another option I could not unselect but I'm so pissed I can't remember what it was.

So I forgo getting the beta and ask around at work until I find someone who has kept one of the old installers to use.

So there you have it. Google is officially as sucky as Microsoft when it comes down to getting the file you want.

This is precisely why I don't have gmail or signed up for anything Google-related. I don't want them to tell me what I want, I know what I want. Don't tell me otherwise.

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/. is once again screwed up

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Ok, so the title isn't telling you anything you didn't already know. However, this is a somewhat critical issue for those of us who get mod points.

Apparently, even though I have set my threshold to -1, I don't see anything below 1.

Having searched through all the nooks and crannies of the craptacular 2.0 (or is it 3.0 now?) version, there are no other settings to set to see low posters.

Normally this wouldn't be an issue as most people at 0 or -1 are just trolling, but on occasion there is that one comment which is unfairly knocked and I like to upgrade them.

Yeah, I COULD send an email and ask that this be looked into, but what are the chances that this would be given a high priority when one considers how much they listened to people about the new design.

So for now, those of you who get a 0 or -1 mod, sorry, I can't help you.

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Just a quick Fox News faux paus

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

We all realize that Fox's distortion of reality is well known. We also know that terms such as "homicide bomber" or "homicide shooter" are an attempt to "update" ones vocabulary.

However, it seems that in their effort to widen their distortion field, they have unilaterally removed an entire country from the world map.

I give you (via Minyanville), the new map of the Middle East

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It's that time again. The Japanese Auto Show booth babes are back

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

*first turn on javascript so I can write in Journal*

Once again we are graced by the sights of young, nubile asian women in what are mostly Hooters outfits. Oh, and there are cars in some of the pictures as well.

Photo link

*turns off javascript when done posting*

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Creating domain list is bullshit Microsoft!

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Trying to get newly imaged machines on the network is an exercise in bullshit. After the initial settings (turn off restore points, turn off OS selection, etc) and restarting, without exception when I changed from local machine to network the message about creating the domain list comes up.

Bullshit, bullshit, BULLSHIT! There is no need to create the ENTIRE domain list when all you need is to log onto your local domain. Having to wait MINUTES for the information to be updated is just BULLSHIT!

It's like dealing with the bad programming of certain games (*cough*Alpha Centauri*cough*). I don't give a flying fuck if the odds are against me. Make the fucking attack! I've turned off all notifications, just fucking attack.

It's the same thing with this shitty domain list creation. Just fucking log onto the current domain. There is only one option. Create the list later.

And while I'm pissed off, fix this shitty Journal system. You don't need javascript to write in a form field. Stop trying to make things edgy and 2.0ey. This is why I changed from 2.0 back to 1.0, ok Taco? This is my message. Simplicity. Not a continuous bombardment of moving and flying out menus, threads and whatnot.

Fuck I hate programmers. This is why I will never be involved in a project dealing with programming something. I don't want my name associated with this shit.

And no, I did not get things off my chest. This is only the beginning.

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Anime women are real!

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

From time to time I mention the Japanese and the unique differences they have compared to us (most aren't obese for instance). From time to time I also mention finding articles related to anime such a life-size Gundam or the Argo.

This time, I have come across something so disturbing (in a good way) that it truly boggles the mind. I'm sure you are all familiar with anime and the characters therein. If not by name, you can at least recognize when you see an anime-drawn character. In particular, the women of anime are drawn as having HUGE round eyes (except if they're evil in which case the almond shape persists), thin, lithe bodies and possibly lots of bouncy hair.

In that regard, I give you a real anime woman! No, not the first picture, the second. And third. And fourth. And so on. The main page for her is http://blog.crooz.jp/xx1xx/

So who is she? Believe it or not, she works at the Wakatsuki Chinatsu concession in the teen paradise of Shibuya 109. At least according to this article from whence I came across her blog.

Seriously, does she or does she not look EXACTLY like the women of anime (including the adult variety)?

I don't read kanji but if you hover of the various links, you can at least get an idea of where you're going. Start below the Hair Nail link to see the articles and the associated pictures.

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Tron Legacy = Fail

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

As a rule, I don't watch commercials. As soon as I see one, I change the channel. However, there are a few that I do watch and with the sequel to Tron coming out, I've noticed a few promoting the movie.

Let me say straight away that if the commercials are representative of the movie, the remake is a failure. With the exception of blue and red lighting around the edge of things, everything I've seen leads me to believe this is going to be one big shitfest of explosions interspersed with some touchy-feely scenes (though one apparently doesn't get to touch Olivia Wilde).

And speaking of Olivia, the few words I've heard her speak are delivered in as bland a style as is possible. There doesn't seem to be any emotion behind her words.

While the first movie was ground breaking, this one seems to another in a long line of movies which takes a perfectly good story and tramples the lineage into dust. I'm looking at you Transformers. >:

Based solely on the commercials, I fail to see one redeeming reason to watch it unless it comes out on television.

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The Argo is real!

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Depending on your definition of "real". For those of you who watched the original broadcast series, StarBlazers was probably the first anime you saw. You watched as they fired the Wave Motion Gun for the first time and saw it obliterate a floating island. You held your breath as the relentless assault of the Gamalons threatened to destroy them. Your eyes, like mine, were probably as big as saucers as they found out they had to go into the Gamalon homeworld and take them out before they could acquire the device from Trelana.*

Now, for a mere $277, you can own The Argo. Well, a 1:625 scale model at least. One thing it has going for it is that it's metal, not plastic. Judging by the picture, it seems to be very true to the series.

I still have a soft spot for the final confrontation of The Argo inside planet Gamalon. When I decide to watch the show, I do so at night, lights off, volume up. The effect of The Argo's main guns firing every which way, the exploding bombs and rockets trying to find their mark, the sound of everything, is something that I thoroughly enjoy.

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Mozilla takes a page from /.

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Installed a new PC for one of the higher ups and was going through the process of configuring the newest version of Firefox (3.6.11). I wasn't able to do a copy and paste into the new, empty, profile directory of the users profile so I had to create one from scratch. After that, I figured it was easier to just go to the four web sites and rebookmark them rather than trying to do a copy and paste.

However, in my travels, I found that the option to not submit crash reports would not stay unchecked. I would uncheck it, click OK then come back in and it was rechecked.

I don't want to submit crash reports from this user's PC. They wouldn't know what to do with them anyway.

So I went to look for the 3.6.10 version. Found the ftp link but get this server message:

ISA Server: extended error message :

200 Switching to Binary mode.
200 PORT command successful. Consider using PASV.
550 Permission denied.
ï½

If one follows Mozilla's own directions on how to get an older version, you can't (at least I can't). Add in the fact that a simple checkbox won't stay unchecked and that when you delete some of the extraneous entries in the bookmark directory you are still left with lines, one begins to wonder if Taco and Company are giving advice to the Mozilla folks.

No, I'm not submitting a bug report. I'm not creating ANOTHER account somewhere just to let them know. This is my bug report. Anyone with connections or who has an account can submit it for me.

And more P.S. Taco

Your journal system still sucks. Having to turn on javascript is asinine. Get off yours and drop this nonsense!

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I guess there's someone who will fall for this

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Everyone reading this should be aware of what the Nigerian 419 Scam is all about. You've probably received one or two of them (I've only ever received one). As more and more people wise up (or the older ones die off, depending on your point of view), these scams, while still raking in millions, are becoming less and less effective.

So, in good Evolutionary style, those who want to make you part with your money have come up with their newest ploy. I give you, the Enron letter.

P.S. You still haven't fixed the glitch in your Journal system, Taco. One still has to enable javascript to write a title. I deal with incompetency, stupidity and laziness from my co-workers on a daily basis. I shouldn't have to deal with it on a web site which is supposedly run by folks in the know.

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I have a software firm named after me!

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  about 4 years ago

Ok, so it's not really named after me, but I was looking for a decent pizza place in lower Manhattan (if you know of any, let me know) and happened to see the following name at 55 Broad Street:

Wombat Financial Software

Funny how those things come about, isn't it?

And what is it with this javascript requirement to write in the journal. Come on Taco, quit being like your proverbial namesake (shitty).

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See, we're not luddites!

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

First, let me say that /. is becoming more and more annoying as it tries to be on the cutting edge of shit for its web design. I had to turn on javascript to write this as not having it turned on wouldn't let me type anything.

With that little bit out of the way, nearly everyone I told the following piece about me seems shocked, especially when it is revealed that I am employed in the IT field. What is so shocking that people's mouths fall to ground in surprise? What is so unbelievable that they have to call their friends to spread the news?

I don't own a cell phone. Just as some on here will say they don't have cable, I don't own a cell phone. My job doesn't require it, nor do I want or need one. I don't want people to be able to contact me at a moment's notice. I most certainly don't people to be able to track me down.

And I'm not the only one. As the following article relates, many people, of both high and low stature, don't have cell phones. And it's not because they're luddites. They don't have one because they don't need one. Which is something I have said all along. The number of people who truly need a cell phone is insignificant compared to those who own one (or more) phones. Besides, as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of La Verne says in the article, "He says he has never overheard a cell conversation that wasn't banal."

So when you find out someone doesn't own a cell phone, don't think they're living in a backwards mentality. Think of them as being on the cutting edge of being a power broker.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38646066/ns/business-bloomberg_businessweek/

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Gundams are finally here

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

I'm not talking about some reproduction made in the basement of an agoraphobic teenager. No, I'm talking life-size, possibly functional, Gundams. You know, the kind that go bang and boom as they destroy things.

For your viewing pleasure: Gundam!

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The Road Ahead, by Bill Gates, 15 years later

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

It's been 15 years since Bill Gates wrote his book, The Road Ahead, in which he talks about how technology would shape the future. In the intervening years, technology has changed most aspects of our lives for better or worse. So how did Bill Gates do on his predictions? The Atlantic takes a look at the good and bad of some of his prognostications. Overall, it appears Bill let optimism guide his thoughts, except when it came to the Internet"

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Finally, a use for cigarettes

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Go ahead, get on my case about harping about the evils of smoking. You may like to smoke, but I don't want you around me when you do. And if do you come around me, take a shower first. Just don't expect a good night kiss.

With that out of the way, it seems the country with the largest amount of smokers has potentially come up with a use for the filters of used cigarettes. You drop them in water, extract the volatiles from the water and use those volatiles to coat the inside of oil pipes and prevent them from rusting.

Weird, huh? Use known carcinogens to prevent pipes which carry oil from springing leaks. Who knew?!

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You know you're bored when...

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

you're too lazy to write porn.

Yes, on rare occasions I write porn. Not well and not often, but enough to satisfy some people who frequent Literotica.

Currently, I am caught up on work stuff, too lazy to study for my quiz on Saturday and too bored to continue working on one of three different stories.

People talk about depression being bad (I'm not depressed). It's not. It's the boredom.

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It would be nice...

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

if there was one time I could take a piss and not have someone else stop by. It's not that I'm shy, but dealing with people all day makes one want a moment of peace and quiet.

Standing there and having someone else come in and go take a dump with noises like something from Dr. Seuss does not allow one to decompress. Nor is it possible when someone comes in and tries to talk to you (yes ladies, there is a code in the bathroom). Of course there's always 'The Whistler'. Annoying is the word that comes to mind.

Peace and quiet are one of the two reasons bathrooms exist. If only solitude would be a third reason.

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Never had a teacher like this

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

With Sunday being Pi Day, CNN is running a quick blurb about the whole affair. That's not what caught my eye (don't care about the day anyway).

No, what caught my attention was the picture they use(d) to accompany the story. For your reference.

If only...

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Headlines that need a bit more work

smooth wombat smooth wombat writes  |  more than 4 years ago

This was the headline for a story on The Japan Times Online web site:

JBA sketches out plan for bj-league, JBL merger

It makes you think, don't it?

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