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Google Killing Off Mini, Video, and iGoogle

stry_cat protopage is another alternative. (329 comments)

I've seen people mention netvibes as a replacement. However I've discovered protopage.com. I think it is better than netvibes b/c you can click and drag to resize each widget (even across columns). It took me about two hours to move over all my feeds and figure out how to get things like google calendar and gmail to appear correctly. I also added a number of feeds since it was so easy. I'm extremely disapointed that iGoogle is going away. However I've found something better so it has worked out in the end.

more than 2 years ago

Should I Publish Or Patent?

stry_cat You're asking this on slashdot? (266 comments)

You asking if you should get a patent on a site that is notoriously anti-patent? I'd say you're looking for a certain answer.

At the risk of being modded down, I'm not going to give you that answer. Get the patent. It is good legal protection. It will help if someone else tries to steal your idea and sues you for infringing on the patent they just got. It will help if you later decide to actually get paid for your idea and need to keep others from stealing it.

The patent basically says you thought of this first. It doesn't not say you can't publish your idea, in fact with a patent you must publish your idea.

So bottom line get the patent and then work on making your idea a success.

more than 5 years ago

Lawyer Demands Jury Stops Googling

stry_cat The real problem is not google (517 comments)

The real problem is that we no longer have a jury of our peers. Back in the day, your peer was someone who knew you well and shared a common status. Now it's 12 random people who have nothing more in common than someone who lives somewhere in the same county as you. No wonder jurors are trying to find out more info, they don't start with the necessary information about the defendant.

more than 5 years ago

An End To Unencrypted Digital Cable TV and the HTPC

stry_cat Re:Check out twinhan DVB-S cards for an alternativ (345 comments)

It's not that the government is unwilling to regulate it. It's that government grants them the monopoly. Your local government prohibits other companies from competing with the "authorized" cable franchisee. Get rid of this and allow companies to compete and at least you'll have an option to switch when one of them does something stupid.

more than 5 years ago

Wikipedia Approaches Its Limits

stry_cat Power corrupts (564 comments)

Actually what it really means is that a few editors have amassed all the power (much like a few people amass all the power in the government). This problem has been around for a while. I personally stopped contributing after they kept deleting the the article on the stolen sidekick. Its been reduced down to just a few lines in some other article.

There is of course Deletionpedia, but it looks like their bots aren't always on top of the situation. Several of the articles I've tried to find there weren't saved in time.

It's a shame, since Wikipedia could be so much more that the narrow vision of the deletionists.

more than 5 years ago

RadioShack To Rebrand As "The Shack"?

stry_cat Re:Surveillance (629 comments)

They never, ever, asked for picture ID.

That's funny. The reason I stopped going to RS (in addition to all the reasons others have mentioned) is that they always demand a photo ID from me. The last time I refused and reported them for violating their merchant agreement with Mastercard

more than 5 years ago

Huge Unidentified Organic Blob Floating Around Alaska

stry_cat Cue the music (424 comments)

Beware of the blob, it creeps
And leaps and glides and slides
Across the floor
Right through the door
And all around the wall
A splotch, a blotch
Be careful of the blob

-The Five Blobs

more than 5 years ago

Most Companies Won't Deploy Windows 7 — Survey

stry_cat Happens Every Time (429 comments)

Every time a new version of Windoze comes out, we see a survey saying most places won't install the new version. So either most places are still using Windows 3.11 or they switched to Linux right?

Ok ok I know most places dont' upgrade every year, so it takes 2-5 years before the newest version takes over. So really this survey is nothing new and I wonder if it is even newsworthy.

more than 5 years ago

A Look At Google's Email Spam Prevention

stry_cat Re:"Postini"? (176 comments)

Take a deep breath dude, was trying to give you info that I thought might help. Now it seems that you've presented a moving target.

I don't know what the GP is thinking, but here's my thoughts...

At first I thought your help was awesome. But then I realized it being able to filter on From: is not the same as being able to sort on From:

For example...

Joe sends me email which gmail sends to spam. Since I know gmail does this frequently with his emails and that Joe sends me email once a day, I can easily use the filter to find his message in spam.

Now comes the problem. Sally sends me an email which gmail sends to spam. She doesn't normally send me email often so I'm not on the lookout for it. I won't even think to use a filter to find her email. Only by sorting on From: and scanning through the list in Spam would I ever find her email.

I don't think the GP is presenting a moving target. He needs to be able to sort by the headers, like you can in every other email program out there.

more than 5 years ago

Your Browser History Is Showing

stry_cat Re:workaround in firefox (174 comments)

This is not a good work around for me. I like being able to tell which links I've already visited. I suspect a lot of people like it too.

more than 5 years ago

Your Browser History Is Showing

stry_cat Broken or Slashdotted? (174 comments)

The requested URL could not be retrieved

While trying to retrieve the URL: http://web2.0collage.com/app/;((%22k%22%20.%20%22(1970%201%2079269687)%22))

The following error was encountered:

        * Unable to forward this request at this time.

This request could not be forwarded to the origin server or to any parent caches. The most likely cause for this error is that:

        * The cache administrator does not allow this cache to make direct connections to origin servers, and
        * All configured parent caches are currently unreachable.

Your cache administrator is webmaster.
Generated Thu, 02 Jul 2009 14:23:14 GMT by nullsleep.csclub.uwaterloo.ca (squid/2.7.STABLE3)

more than 5 years ago

Emigrating To a Freer Country?

stry_cat Re:You've already broken your search (1359 comments)

Mod parent up. This is the most insightful comment I've seen on /. in quite a while.

The more "services" the government provides, the more you're dependent on it. That alone will limit your freedoms. However as the above post points out. The real problem is by providing these "services" there's just more government around and it does what government does (attempt to control people).

Want government to provide health care? Next thing you know it will outlaw a bunch of "unhealthy" activities b/c treating the effects are too much for the government provided health care.

Want government to provide water, electricity, and other utilities? Next thing you know watering your lawn, turning on a light, or visiting certain internet sites will be illegal b/c it puts too much of a strain on the government provided system.

You're much better off finding a place with none of these services and fight to keep them from ever being implemented.

Personally I live in the US and have for 6 years been thinking about moving out. Unfortunately there isn't any place more free. However we're on the wrong track heading in the wrong direction, while there are a number of places heading in the right direction.

IMHO after a lot of thought the right choice is to stay and fight. Fleeing will not improve the situation in the long run.

more than 4 years ago

Hulu Munging HTML With JS To Protect Content

stry_cat Re:English please? (281 comments)

PHP is not JavaScript.

In this day of over-specialization, I can see how someone would be a PHPnerd and not know anything about JavaScript.

Heck where I work, I'm pretty atypical in that I know not only PHP and JavaScript, but Perl and a number of other scripting languages. Most people just know one language and don't seem to have the ability to branch out beyond it.

As for what hulu is doing...
I'm guessing (I haven't read anything more than the summary like a good /.er) hulu is encrypting the video and on the same page in plain text is the way to decrypt the video.

more than 5 years ago

Locating the Real MySQL

stry_cat Re:PostgreSQL (335 comments)

The reason we use PostgreSQL instead of MySQL at work is mainly because the JDBC drivers for MySQL are GPL licensed, while Postgres' isn't.

Um... wouldn't that be a reason to use MySQL?

more than 5 years ago

The Last Will and Testament of Circuit City

stry_cat Maybe this was just a symptom... (600 comments)

Right after college, desperate for a job, I interviewed with Circuit City.

I had to go to the main place down near the city instead of out in Henrico.

First thing I notice is there are a bunch of people who look like a bunch of junkies hanging out in fron of the door.

I walk past that into the reception area. After a brief wait, a guy and a girl who I think were younger than me at the time, took me into an office for the interview.

As soon as I sat down they started reading questions from their clipboard.

These questions weren't the kind that would see if you knew anything about their products or could otherwise do your jobs. They were all about "If you saw one of your coworkers using illegal drugs in their home, what would you do?" With few exceptions they were all about drug use.

The last question was, do you have any questions for us? My answer was "Yes I do. Since y'all seem extremely interested in drug use, does Circuit City have a lot of employees with a drug problem? I certainly don't want to work in such an environment."

They gave me some BS answer about weeding out that kind of employee.

I walked out the door knowing I would not accept a job with them no matter what.

Of course they didn't call me either so I guess I didn't give them the answers they wanted.

more than 5 years ago

Star Trek Fragrances

stry_cat Trek fan and the new move. (169 comments)

I am a trek fan and excited about the new movie

Not possible. The phrase before the conjunction is contradicted by the phrase after the conjunction.

Either you're a trek fan and your horrified by the new movie. Or you're not a trek fan and are excited about the new movie.

more than 5 years ago

Repairing / Establishing Online Reputation?

stry_cat Re:Longer answer (564 comments)

I hope you realize that by paying the fee, you also are admitting to be guilty of driving without a license. So on all future job applications you need to check that little box saying you have been convicted of a traffic violation.

more than 5 years ago



The case against gmail

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  about a year ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "Ed Bot makes the case against Gmail

Gmail was a breath of fresh air when it debuted. But this onetime alternative is showing signs that it's past its prime, especially if you want to use the service with a third-party client. That's the way Google wants it, which is why I've given up on Gmail after almost a decade.

Personally, I've always thought it odd that no other email provider ever adopted Gmails "search not sort" mentality. I've been a Gmail user since you needed an invitation to get an account. However Gmail has been steadily moving towards a more traditional email experience. Plus there's the iGoogle disaster that got me looking into alternatives to everything Google. Will this be the wake up call Google needs to get its act together and stop being evil?"


Ex-Marine detained under Operationn Vigilant Eagle for his political views sues

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  about a year and a half ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "You may remember the story of Brandon Raub, who was detained withtout due process over some facebook posts he made. Now with the help of the Rutherford Institute, he is suing his captors.

According to his complaint [PDF], his detention was part of a federal government program code-named “Operation Vigilant Eagle,” which monitors military veterans with certain political views."

Link to Original Source

where are the open source jobs?

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 2 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "My company has bought into the FUD and is going 100% Microsoft. Rather than work in this environment and be continuously at odds with upper management, I have decided to seek employment elsewhere.

Where do I look for an open source job? I've started with the local paper's Sunday classifieds. I've looked on dice.com and monster.com. However almost all are Microsoft related. The few that aren't are some sort of dinky contract or temp job. So is there a place to find a job in an open source environment?"

Confessions of a Twitter Reject

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "http://www2.richmond.com/content/2009/sep/03/confessions-twitter-reject/

Karri Peifer who says "I'm pretty sure I held the record for getting broken up with the most times in one year. It was the year I was 26 and I got dumped, on average, once every five weeks." continues her steak of being dumped. This time by Twitter.

"By 5 p.m. I had over 50 followers (and I followed them all right back). I'd tweeted 21 times. And when I logged off the day, I was smiling and contented by my new Twitter relationship. I couldn't wait for day two.

But a second chance with Twitter, it seemed, was not in the cards for me. At 9:58 p.m., less than seven hours after my first Twitter encounter, I was shut out. Suspended, in Twitterverse language. My account was taken offline, my followers removed, and a harsh warning label alerting me to the suspension was stamped over the account that only I could see."

As is often the case with faceless corportations, "Twitter responded with a canned, auto-reply, telling me it was all my fault; that, yes, I did something wrong. They even provided a list of things I likely did wrong. It was up to me to review the list and choose for myself. Then Twitter closed out my request and told me to be on my way. But I persisted. I didn't think I did anything wrong and, if I did, I was sorry. Could I have another chance? Twitter is thinking about it."

So she turned to her friends. They wanted to know if she cussed or used hostile language. Of course she didn't. The final consensus was " is that I talked too much. Or, rather, I talked back too much. For anyone who knows me, it's as likely as my cussing. Maybe even more so. But still, it was an innocent mistake.

When people tweeted me, I tweeted back. I thought I was supposed to. I thought it would be rude to ignore a tweet, especially when it was written expressly to me. But apparently that's wrong. I'm not supposed to @reply (write back) to people. At least not 20 times in two hours. That's what IM is for or DM (direct message). Or is DM like email? But then I thought Twitter was supposed to be a conversation, unlike Facebook, where you just post status updates. So if 20 @replies are too many, how many is just right? I still don't know and now I might never know. Twitter didn't even give me a chance. It just took one look at me, endured two hours of my nervous chatter, and kicked me to the curb."

So can anyone figure out why Karri was banned? Also she's in the market for a new social networking site, anyone have recommendations for her?"

Link to Original Source

Registrars still ignoring ICANN rules

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "Over a year ago ICANN moved to clean up mis-behaving registrars like GoDaddy They released this scary sounding advisory. However over a year later problems remain. One company is now publicly complaining. Some of the biggest registrars are slammed for their actions.

"Register.com is one frustrating company. The ICANN policy clearly prohibits blocking a transfer of a domain name that has expired but not yet been deleted. Despite that, a customer trying to transfer a three-day-expired Register.com domain name told us last week that they refused to give him the necessary code to allow him to transfer — unless he pays them to renew it first.

"GoDaddy (and their reseller arm, Wild West Domains) have a different problem. They still block transfers for 60 days after a registrant contact update, even after the ICANN update specifically prohibited doing so. They freely admit it, too. "

"We see a similar problem with many transfers from Network Solutions."

When will ICANN clean up these registrars?"
Link to Original Source


Italy tries execs for being employeed by google

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 5 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "Four executives of Google — call them the Milan Four — are on trial in Italy for the crime of being employed by Google when an objectionable video was posted to a Google video site. The charges are defamation and privacy violation. The accused face jail time."
Link to Original Source

Criteria for picking a good RBL

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "Here are a few points about picking a good RBL for your spam filter:

From the article:

        * Speed of reaction: The faster (the more real-time) a list is updated, the more easier it is to deal with false positives and with false negatives.
        * Selection criteria: How are the sources added to the blacklist, based on what criteria? How sure are the blacklist admins that the one they are listing is bad? How sure are you they will not add your partners, customers, suppliers and other business critical peers. Similarly how sure are you they will not list yourself (from experience: this is extremely painful)
        * Goal of the blacklist: Does the list have an agenda (hidden or not) that you might not share with them? Do they aim to have 0 false negatives without care for false positives?
        * Ease of getting unlisted: How easy is it to contact the list administration for those listed ? Is there 24x7 (remember the Internet is worldwide so thy need to cover all timezones) support on getting back out for those unjustly listed ?
        * Working Email contact to get unlisted: This is very tricky for e.g. spam blocking list that are using their own blacklist.
        * Try contacting them to get unlisted: if you cannot reach them, remember what your communicating partner that got listed by accident will feel like. And while it might reflect mostly on the blacklist provider, it will also reflect on you and your organization due to your choice and implicit support of their (failing) processes.
        * Is there somebody who feels responsible enough behind it to put up out of band contact details such as phone numbers, working snail-mail addresses etc. Of course this means they'll feel exposed to the scam artists they are blocking, but it also means those being blocking without reason have a way to complain.
        * Blocking for the right reasons: E.g. some anti-spam lists are blocking with as reason the IP addresses sent unwanted TCP/IP traffic (not just unwanted email). Some might have political reasons or other things you don't want to be associated with.
        * Duration of a block: many IP addresses that get infected by bots etc. are home users on a (somewhat) dynamic IP address. Blocking such an IP address for a long time won't help as the IP isn't fixed and the next one to come after it will get blocked unwarranted. Similarly, infected machines do eventually get cleaned up by the rightful owners. So short durations are better.
        * Automatic delisting: How automated is the unblocking? Based on what tests is it done? Some listed entities might not know what blacklist they are being listed on. Hence asking them to jump through hoops on their own might not be hard, they might not even know what hoops they need to seek out.
        * Granularity of the block: Unless there are clear signs of malice, most regular users will clean up intrusions and malware instead of hopping about the IP address in an address space to avoid blacklists. Hence only very bad neighborhoods should get blocked indiscriminately. Similarly "punishing" an ISP for having a single misbehaving customer will not work as the ISP is hardly punished at all, it's the other (innocent) customers of the ISP that get hit.
            While there are people who are going to say they only deal with a specific country/continent and don't need anything outside, think a bit longer: none of the employees of your partners, customers, ... will ever go out of the country/continent on business or holiday and get a phone call to do something or try to make a decision on the road?
        * Security of the blacklist provider: Who can submit data to the blacklist, and how is the data authenticated? The bad guys could poison lists by creating fake data and submitting it in order to block even more addresses. Don't forget Availability is part of security: what happens to your processes if the blacklist were to become unavailable or just slow?
        * One practice I found to be impossible to deal with from an business point of view: was a blacklist demanding money to get unlisted. Any self-respecting business will feel this is extortion and will not give in. No matter that they send it to their charity of choice, no matter the small amount it actually is, this remains a show stopper. For you this means you'll find contacts who get listed and have no way of getting out again.
        * Do the blacklist administrators actually warn those getting listed? Since many of the evil actions a machine does is more often than not done without the knowledge of the rightful owner, a word to the ISP connecting the machine or the business hosting the machine, can in fact be a big step towards detecting the rootkitted botnet and starting the clean-up."

America doesn't have a broadband problem

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "According to this story, the new FCC Commissioner believes that "the country doesn't really have a broadband problem."

This statement contrasts sharply with what others are saying. For example a 2006 ars technica article stated "Looking at the statistics contained in the report, we discover that the US is 16th in the world in terms of broadband penetration and 15th in rate of growth. As of December 2005, the US had approximately 16 broadband subscribers for every 100 inhabitants. In contrast, Iceland had almost 27, while South Korea, the Netherlands, and Denmark were right around 25 per 100."

Has our broadband crisis been solved in just under a year, or is the new FCC Commissioner mistaken?"

More Evidence that Blacklists are bad

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "Here's a brief summary with good links detailing how the Austrian domain registry ended up on the Spamhaus Block List.

From the article:

"Altogether this seems to be a big mess, being driven by different goals, points of view, and also ego. Using blacklists is a two edged sword (which has also been stated on isc.sans.org numerous times), but this story only makes me wonder for the sanity of the whole system."

I'm sure /.ers will agree that it is a big mess. Take heed if you use a blacklist as spamhaus.org isn't the only one that suffers from delusions of grandeur."

Link to Original Source

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 6 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "Over at http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid=2528&rss it says:

"...no doubt that you are aware of the huge number of exploits directed toward various Office applications, mainly Microsoft Word and PowerPoint. For quite some time a lot of administrators (us included) told people to convert documents to other (safer) formats, one of them being RTF (Rich Text Format). Although this format is proprietary, the specification is publicly available so a lot of word processors support this format."

However as the article continues, we find that one can still embed stuff. Embedding the right (or is it wrong) stuff can have the unsuspecting user downloading some seriously bad malware. Even worse it is likely your AV software will miss this malware!

The article concludes:

"This was another example of why complex file formats should be avoided. Even if you do scan all files on your e-mail gateway (or web filtering server), as you can see most AV programs would miss this as they would scan only the RTF document. One more time we see how important defense in depth is — in this case you would depend on user's awareness and ultimately on his desktop AV product. ""

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "Think you know your rights during police encounters? Like most Americans you probably know less than you think. FlexYourRights.org has a short quiz to see if you know what to do when you encounter the police.

I'll give you a hint, it's not like how they make it out on TV."

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "It has already been reported (here and here) that some in Congress want to force bloggers to be licensed before they can start blogging. Now there is yet another attempt.

Once again it is under the guise of stopping astroturfing. However as is explained by grassrootsfreedom.com , "The grassroots legislation, simply stated, is unconstitutional. It is nothing more than some with vested financial and political interests trying to violate the First Amendment rights of others."

Another group, DownsizeDC.org, is also working against this dangerous legislation. They have set up an e-mail your Congressman tool."

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "http://isc.sans.org/diary.html?storyid=2435 From the article:

It appears that there is problem with MS DST patch... MS DST patch (931836) problem. Regarding this patch problem more information can find from here. There is another fix patch available for Windows-based applications that use the TZ environment variable may not work as expected because of changes to DST. More information available following link (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/932590/en-us)
Makes you think this story asks a good question — Is DST really worth it?"

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 7 years ago

stry_cat (558859) writes "We've been using Bugzilla to track bugs in our software. It is really great. However we need something that is more. Something to track the tasks of the entire software development process, not just bugs. I was wondering what y'all use?"




stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 5 years ago


After years of trying to get one of my submitted stories on the front page I finally did!

I came close once getting on the front page of one of the sections, but this was on the real front page!

I'm so happy.


Mod Points blues

stry_cat stry_cat writes  |  more than 9 years ago

The last three times I've gotten mod points, I've had them lapse b/c there were no interesting discussions for me to read (thus no reason to use the mod points). Now yesterday I got mod points again, and ya know what....not a single story have I looked past the headline. It is going to happen again.

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