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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

soren42 Re:Force of Law (355 comments)

Thanks for the clarity - it's much appreciated!

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

soren42 Re:Force of Law (355 comments)

This is the type of approach most of us "law hackers" (aka "armchair attorneies") would try as a next step. The flip side (and the down side) is that AT&T will never allow the actual issue to appear before a judge. They will:

- parade out yours terms of service agreement as a contract and request sunmary dismissal
- cancel your service
- bury you in motions: change of venue to their HQ state (which is likely in those terms of service), dismissal insufficient standing — you're not an expert, you hacked your gear to obtain incorrect figures, et cetera

At the end of the day, they can simply outspend the average user, and it's in their best interest to do so. Lending any sort of credibility to such a lawsuit would expose them to similar suits from other users — up to a potential class action. The lawsuit will never even make it to anyone technical for review of it's merit. They have an in-house legal team and many firms on retainer to deal with just such suits.

It all sucks, but that's the real world view for the little guy in our legal system.

about 2 months ago
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Xbox One Will Play Media from USB Devices, DLNA Servers

soren42 Re:I love competition. (112 comments)

Technically, I believe PS4 simply hasn't added these features to it's OS yet. Many features of the PS3's XMB still aren't supported on the PS4 or on the Vita yet. In fact, the Vita even emulates the XMB to provide access to many of these features.

about 2 months ago
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Time Warner Cable Customers Beg Regulators To Block Sale To Comcast

soren42 Re: Predictable outcome (80 comments)

Sad, but regrettably accurate if past outcomes predict future behaviours.

about 4 months ago
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Chicago Adding Sensors For Public Monitoring

soren42 Watch Dogs? (107 comments)

I read this, and thought, "Wait, I'm currently playing this in simulationâ¦" It's sad that this is manner in which life has chosen to imitate art. It also raises the question, "Did the researchers see the game and decide to try it? Is the game really a covert proof-of-concept? Or is this *really* just a coincidence? (Go away you nutty conspiracy theorists!)"

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Important Is Advanced Math In a CS Degree?

soren42 Mathematica (656 comments)

Whilst studying for my BS in computer engineering 20 years ago, I struggled with the same issue. Now, after all these years, I'm poised to complete my Doctorate of Engineering in mathematics. The trick was grasping the basic concepts of advanced maths (theory, not equations and applications) and then solving them using software, either commercial or custom. One thing that was a *huge* help was Mathematica. It's damned expensive on a student's budget, but it was an amazing learning tool that, at least, helped me earn that first degree. Most tech colleges require MatLab, which is an amazing tool as well, but it's hard to match Wolfram's software. I'm not suggesting that you just key in your homework and coast â" Mathematica always provides reference material, links, and other sources that a great way to pull apart the problem and make it understandable. Lastly, if Mathematica is out of your budget, use Wolfram Alpha. This free tool has more capabilities than Mathematica did 20 years ago. There are also low cost modules for Computer Science, DiffEqs, Stats, Integration, and more. Best of luck. I hope your degree leads you into a successful career.

about a year ago
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Btrfs Is Getting There, But Not Quite Ready For Production

soren42 Why hasn't anyone simply ported BeFS? (268 comments)

I know there are only a few diehard holdout BeOS geeks still out there, and I know we have a terrible secret the world has never uncovered: BeFS. This file system, coded and deployed (production) in 1992, is 64-bit, multi-threaded, and fully journaled â" attributes taken for granted today, but only futuristic buzzwords for other OSes of the day. Hard drives deployed on R4, an Intel x86 or PPC OS, were typically 6GB IDE drives. BeFS can handle single files of up to 18,000 petabytes - all of recorded human history at the time was only ~100 petabytes. BeFS is built on an OODB. It's tough, reliable, and well documented (there are even three venerated O'Reilly books on the subject â" two dedicated to *just* the filesystem). It's what zfs and btfs want to be when they grow up. And today, it's discarded. While Linux, OS X, BSD and other OSes could be compiled with kernel support, they aren't. Running it essentially means putting a virtual FS in a file. Tragic â" another example of reinventing the wheel.

about a year and a half ago
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Warrantless Wiretapping Decisions Issued By Ninth Circuit Court

soren42 Re:Nuremburg Defense (156 comments)

You're absolutely right. I *hate* to use a cliché, but this is just another example that "the terrorists... er, lobbyists have won."

There's no reason we need to throw away the Constitution or the Bill of Rights just to get the "bad guys". It's not like every police agency from the small town sheriff to the FBI isn't familiar with the process of obtaining warrants to tap phone lines. This just means they've no need for probable cause.

The flip side of this is that nearly every wireless hub sold from 2007 to today have encryption and/or authentication turned on by default. More of the population is aware of the risks today than ever before. It's hard to imagine that any illegal endeavour would use unencrypted wireless access. And while nearly every encryption method has been cracked, it's been a brute force attack — not something a law enforcement agency wardriving will be cracking onsite — unless you can fit a supercomputer or a super-computing grid in your car.

It will eventually take quantum computing to make this possible, but by then, we'll likely be using quantum non-locality cryptology. Oh well.

more than 2 years ago
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Invent the Medical Tricorder, Win $10,000,000

soren42 Really? "Panel of doctors"? (167 comments)

That's a rather subjective winning criteria... I've met *many* "panels of doctors" that are no better than an iPad.

more than 3 years ago
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How Do You Store Your Personal Photos?

soren42 iPhoto - Hands Down (680 comments)

I use Apple's iLife suite — specifically iPhoto — to manage external FireWire drives. I know it sounds like I'm just another Apple fanboy, but it really is a great photo management suite.

more than 3 years ago
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Guess My Speed and Give Me a Ticket, In Ohio

soren42 Re:Honestly, I'm shocked that any serious court... (636 comments)

You make an excellent point in the first part of your remarks - tickets did exist before radar and the like..

However, speeding tickets are criminal charges - they simply aren't felony charges (unless the speeder is exceeding the limit by greater than 15 mph in most states). There may not be a jury, but with most moving violations, while de died by the jurist, are still held to the standard of reasonable doubt. While this may indeed come down to the more credible witness, it still shocks the sensible mind that this is within the scope of reasonable juris purdence.

more than 4 years ago
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Guess My Speed and Give Me a Ticket, In Ohio

soren42 Honestly, I'm shocked that any serious court... (636 comments)

would accept this type of citation.

It hardly meets the burden of "beyond a reasonable doubt".

I'm surprised it made it as far as it did. I hope the Ohio Supreme Court isn't an elected body — or their jobs will all be on the chopping block next election day!

more than 4 years ago
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Of these options, I'd call the place I live ...

soren42 Re:The Question is Incorrect (515 comments)

Incidentally, an arse is equivalent to about 3.141 asses.

Is that determined by the radius, diameter, or circumference of the ass(es) in question?

more than 4 years ago
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Of these options, I'd call the place I live ...

soren42 Re:missing option... (515 comments)

Yeah, but you have to deal with seeing that obnoxious statue of Andy Griffith on a regular basis, and most of the real job opportunities are either in Winston-Salem, or worse, Charlotte.

more than 4 years ago
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Of these options, I'd call the place I live ...

soren42 Re:missing option... (515 comments)

You know, you're right on the money. I grew up in South Florida, and I'd say the whole Dade-Broward-Palm Beach area is the *best* example of Urban Sprawl in the U.S.

If you're lucky, you escape early enough in live to salvage some sort of career there. After holding six jobs in two years, I've come to believe that people start business in the area with the goal of them closing and declaring bankruptcy within two years.

more than 4 years ago
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Of these options, I'd call the place I live ...

soren42 Re:missing option... (515 comments)

Did you make a wrong turn on your way to Albuquerque?

more than 4 years ago
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Do We Really Need a National Climate Service?

soren42 Re:If you'd read the article - this *is* NOAA. (358 comments)

The parents in this thread are exactly right - this is NOAA. Beyond that, NOAA also has the authority if the NOAA Corp, one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. This service is lead by Rear Admiral Jonathan W. Bailey, Director of the NOAA Commissioned Corps and Director of the Office of Marine and Aviation Operations and Rear Admiral Philip M. Kenul, Director of Marine and Aviation Operations Centers. The over 300 officers in this corps have access to the further resources of the US Navy and US Coast Guard. This corps provides a diversity of professionals trained in engineering, earth sciences, oceanography, meteorology, fisheries science, and other related disciplines - all experts in their respective fields, all with something to contribute to the "issue" of climate change.

In fact, the NOAA Corps is now recruiting for its 115th Basic Officer Training Class - expanding personnel in key leadership, expertise, and officer roles. Why do we need to waste more government money on yet another pointless, duplicative program? Task these able-bodied professionals with the job - one they are already undertaking.

Want more information?
http://www.noaacorps.noaa.gov/

Wanna join the 115th Basic Officer Training Class?
To be considered for BOTC 115, a complete application package must be submitted to the NOAA Corps Recruiting Unit no later than May 29, 2009. The tentative start date for BOTC 115 is August 30, 2009. More information can be found at: http://www.noaacorps.noaa.gov/recruiting/index.html.

more than 5 years ago
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The Google Navy

soren42 Re:Cooling (259 comments)

The problem will be global warming... talk about a way to increase oceanic temperatures and melt the polar ice caps!

Google - bad for the environment.... I never thought I'd see the day...

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Ask Slashdot: How do I know if my computer is compromised?

soren42 soren42 writes  |  about a year ago

soren42 (700305) writes "There's been numerous stories recently on Chinese components integrated into computers bound for U.S. markets with espionage capabilities, and now there is the Edward Snowden Affair.

What's the easiest method to determine if someone is stealing my private or corporate data? And how do you stop them (above and beyond the joke that encryption has become)?"
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Utah Senate Considering Anti-Cybersquatting Bill

soren42 soren42 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

soren42 writes "Utah State Senator Stephen Urquhart, Chairman of the Transportation and Public Utilities and Technology Committee, has proposed the "Utah E-Commerce Integrity Act", a law that creates a stronger deterrent against the practice of cybersquatting. The law also expands the liability for cybersquatting activity to include the registrant's authorized licensee, agent, affiliate, representative, domain name registrar, domain name registry, or other domain name registration authority that knowingly and actively assists a violation of this Act by the registrant. This could potentially set a precedent for similar changes at the federal level."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Why I discuss my health issues on Slashdot

soren42 soren42 writes  |  more than 7 years ago Wow, I received one of the nicest comments I've ever seen on Slashdot this week. It was:

Posts like these is why I keep reading Slashdot...

And, even though it was posted by an Anonymous Coward, it was still a nice sentiment.

I'm usually hesitant to discuss my health problems with anyone, mostly because I try to be high-functioning, and I don't want pity. In fact, in a recent post to my gallery on deviantART, I exchanged these remarks with another artist:

"You know, I've had health problems my entire life, and people (mostly friends) always ask how I put up with it, how I deal with it, and how I can maintain such a positive attitude.

There's a truth of our existence - one that can be put several ways. There's always someone who has it worse. There's always someone better than you. There's always someone in more need than you. And for each of those statements, considered empirically, they're true for everyone but one person in each case.

Now, all that said, I may have a lot of health issues to deal with, and need to endure some painful, uncomfortable, and unpleasant treatments on regular basis. But, I have good health insurance, an accommodating employer, a supportive and loving family, and a very stable psyche. My family (both my wife and daughter, as well as my brother and father) is amazingly concerned and supportive. I have good healthcare providers (after going though several undesirable doctors), and good support staff (insurance advisor, pharmacist, and a PA that coordinates all my care). My close friends go above and beyond to ensure that both my family and I have everything we need, and offer assistance all the time.

So, when I have to stick a 2.5" needle into my leg with a very painful medication, it sucks. But, I'm not deluded or self-absorbed to the point that I'm interested in pity, or think that my life is not worth living."

That was the first online post I have even done regarding my health - in fact, I try to hide my problems from all but the closest of my coworkers. But, given the fact that I've almost entirely lost 2007, I've sort of changed that policy. I sent a note to my entire team at the office, explaining both my life-long health challenges, as well as sharing the details of my current, acute problem.

As for why I post about something so personal as my health on such a public forum, well, that's a complicated question. ^_^ Seriously, though, I post on here about my health when it is 1) relevant to the article or submission, 2) adds some value to the discussion (usually a unique perspective), and 3) is a shared experience with some small group of readers. I always hope to add value with my comments, but moreso with health-related ones. Here's are the comments I've posted:

Finally, I recently decided to try and make a difference - both for myself and for others in similar situations. I've started an initiative that I'm calling the "Patient's Prescription". I posted about it (in this comment) in the same discussion as my most recent health-related post.

I'm setting up with three projects - an open source software project, Second Opinion(TM), a podcast, and a newsletter. Any help would be appreciated. Contact information is in my post referenced in the previous paragraph.

Thank you, again, to the reader for humoring me while I discuss my issues and plead for assistance. ^_^

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Ahhh.... The Height of Geekdom

soren42 soren42 writes  |  more than 9 years ago Well, I feel like the pentultimate geek now. On Sunday, May 29, I posted this comment in response to someone else's comment on an article about researchers controlling the flip of electron spin.

Now, first, please let me say that I am a huge fan of Schrödinger (especially his work with dead cats) and that I do realize the implications of this discovery on the world of quantum cryptography. But, that said, I was a pedantic moron - posting the equivalent of intellectual flamebait. I submitted a comment that was "the smart man's 'You spelled that wrong!'" comment.

Please forgive this departure. I'm usually not a troll, but I was excited, and I knew the parent poster was wrong about the Schrödinger equation.

So, now that I am done with my public confession, we return you to our regularly scheduled program - already in progress.

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An Update on the Akoria Project

soren42 soren42 writes  |  more than 10 years ago Just a quick update on the akoria project for you "true believers" out there...

While I've actually done a good deal of work on the project, including screenshots, mockups, architectures, and even some code, there's a hitch. My employer is currently considering whether or not to allow employees to contribute to open source projects. I'm certain that every large corporation either has already dealt with this issue or will deal with this issue in the next few years - we're no different.

Until a final decision has been made, I have decided to hold back from releasing any further work. I have no desire to violate my employment agreement, and I am very supportive of my employer - even if I don't necessarily agree with all of our policies.

Once a decision has been made, I will either release the material I have developed or turn the project over to another developer and project manager. Stay tuned!

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I feel like such a whore...

soren42 soren42 writes  |  more than 10 years ago Well, I wandered over to GMail Swap, and posted a swap request, in order to obtain an invitation to join GMail. (For those of you who aren't familiar here's a little insight on what I'm talking about: GMail is a free webmail service from Google that offers one gigabyte of storage, a novel interface and sorting system, and cool Google-like features. Since GMail is still a beta service, it is only open to a small number of beta users invitated to participate. Getting an invitation can be difficult, and therefore having a gmail.com account imbues the owner with a level of geek status. GMail Swap is site that allows users to exchange GMail invitations for services, thoughts, products, etc. - anything unique and obscure, but still valuable.) I offered to review a resume or document in exchange for an invitation.

Apparently, I chose wisely in what I offered. There are 3500 requests on the system, and 220 invitations available. Within 10 minutes of posting my offer, I had 4 offers for an account.

So, I've joined the gmail elite. Woo hoo! I have yet another e-mail address. Sometimes "status symbols" are as much of a hassle as a help.

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My Foray into Free and Open Source Software

soren42 soren42 writes  |  more than 10 years ago Well, I've finally taken the plunge, and started open development on a F/OSS project. I've been working for two months now doing the architecture, planning, and other high-level development on a new project. I finally officially kicked it off on SourceForge and opened the project yesterday.

The software will be a comprehensive document management system, with advanced features such as workflow, version control, in-place editing, and much, much more. I had the inspiration when we needed just such a tool at my day job, and I found no mature free software alternative to meet the need. While I have no intention of ever using it at the office (and I really can't work on it at the office!), it is something I have a background in, and I'm certain there's a need for.

One of the more difficult things was naming the project. Every combination of keywords I wanted to use was taken - there are a ton of projects and tools out there with names that are combinations of "free", "open", "document", "deploy", "manage", and other attractive keywords. I finally decided to go with something more esoteric, and give up my family website domain name. I've opted to name the project "Akoria".

So, if you're interested in helping out, or just want to take wander over to the SourceForge project page. And, as always, feedback and comments are welcome.

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Cyrillic Projector

soren42 soren42 writes  |  about 11 years ago There was a really cool article yesterday about the encrypted message on the Cyrillic Projector sculpture at the UNCC campus. I love seeing a local story on Slashdot.

It's inspired me to head over to the campus (about 5mi away) one night. I have a couple of friends who are professors in the communications department over there, so maybe I'll get the penny tour.

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Woo hoo! First post!

soren42 soren42 writes  |  about 11 years ago I landed a "first post" on a RedHat story today.

Hey, what can I say, the little stuff still impresses me.

You can kiss my shiny, first-posting ass.

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Final Fantasy Tactics Advance

soren42 soren42 writes  |  more than 11 years ago Being an absolute lover of the original Final Fantasy Tactics for the PS1, I bought Final Fantasy Tactics:Advance for the GBA this weekend.

Absolutely love it - same system of play! Great game - a must have!

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Woo hoo! I got a 4! Postive karma, here I come!

soren42 soren42 writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Well, after years of being a lurker, I've finally registered for a Slashdot account. I posted a comment today, and almost immediately had it modded up to 4!

Karma is great thing! Now if I can just get a story posted...

And you know, I registered at the January '03 LinuxWorld NYC right next to younr hero and mine, CmdrTaco! I, for one, welcome our new moderator overlords!

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