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Baby Red Dwarf Found Just 27 Light Years Away

tarsi210 Baby Red Dwarf? Does it have... (78 comments)

Does it have inside of it a baby Cat, baby Lister, baby Kryten, and baby holographic Rimmer?

more than 3 years ago
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Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot

tarsi210 Opened Windows and Doors to New Places (1521 comments)

It is hard to quantify exactly how Slashdot and CmdrTaco has shaped my education within this world of computers and technology, but let's suffice to say that it's been incredible. Slashdot gave me a consistent and no-B.S. direct link to really important information that nobody else had back in my formative years, and I'm forever grateful.

I'm especially thankful for the vision and leadership of CmdrTaco who, despite the growing "corporateness" of the Internet as it raged on, insisted on keeping the same flavor going on at Slashdot because it worked, goddammit, and it got information in the hands of those who needed it.

I know I'm yet another drop in the pool of thousands, but Many, many thanks for your years of dedication and hard work on this project. I believe I speak for everyone on this site when I make a lifetime standing offer of buying you a beer (or ten) should we ever meet.

Good luck and keep your stick on the ice. We're all in this together.

more than 3 years ago
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US Senate Votes For Repeal of Ethanol Subsidies

tarsi210 Good -- Ethanol's a Joke Anyway (395 comments)

I wish it WOULD pass. I'm in Iowa, the heart of ethanol country, and I can't stand the stuff and what it's done. Artificial inflation of corn prices, artificial money, artificial companies. Whole corporations and huge plants have been built up on the promise of ethanol and just as quickly have fell into bankruptcy because the dream failed to pay off. As people have slowly come to realize that the bang-for-buck of ethanol is so much lower than gasoline, even with subsidies, plus the corrosion factors on improperly-engineered cars, it's fallen by the wayside. E-85 was supposed to be the next big thing and it barely made a fart in the market at all. All we've ended up with is farmers who thought they had a huge market for their product and suddenly....don't.

I've heard a lot of arguments for things like switchgrass ethanol and so forth and, hey, I'm all for alternatives -- if they work. But the fact remains that despite whatever "green" intentions people may have, if you can't sell it to the general public without a crutch, you're going to lose in the end. Time to let ethanol stand -- and die gracefully -- on its own.

more than 3 years ago
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New Bacterium Lives On Caffeine

tarsi210 Hard to Find at First (121 comments)

Word is they were pretty hard to find at first, on account of them vibrating right off the slide.

more than 3 years ago
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Do Developers Really Need a Second Monitor?

tarsi210 No Islands (1002 comments)

For the most part, unless you're a programming grunt and do nothing except hack code all day long, you're multi-tasking. Email, IM, a work order system, CVS system, perhaps ERP, CRM, DMS, etc. Any number of systems that may require constant or frequent monitoring. That is where developers (and most other computer jockeys) need a 2nd monitor.

Now...if you're lucky enough to be able to say, "Look, I'm coding this afternoon and I'll be unavailable entirely until I get done," and then you can close everything, open up your project, and hack/slash at it for a few hours interrupt-free, that's wonderful, and you probably only need one monitor. But I don't know of too many positions like that these days, where so many people are called to be Jack-of-all in most positions.

In the end, monitors are bloody cheap. If the developer wants one, GET HIM/HER ONE. The cost is extremely minor compared to the value it'll bring to their attitude if they think their needs are being met. It'll pay for itself easily.

more than 3 years ago
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IPad 2 33% Thinner, 2x Faster, iOS 4.3

tarsi210 Not Much Use in Engineering (1118 comments)

Despite all this, I *still* can't use it to realign the starboard plasma couplings. Dammit!

more than 3 years ago
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As HTML5 Gets 2014 Final Date, Flash Floods Mobile

tarsi210 Internet Time (221 comments)

Oh, right, because everything on the Internet takes about 5 years to come out. Everyone will wait for you, W3C. We've got Livejournals to keep us amused till then.

Seriously, though -- wouldn't we be that much better off if they would release the standard right now as, "final pending revisions for bugs", or similar, so the world can move on and not fall into 14 different camps of what is official and what isn't?

(I realize in a lot of ways this is all about terminology, but terminology matters, too. )

more than 3 years ago
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Angry Birds and Parabolic Instinct In Humans

tarsi210 Then why... (234 comments)

..don't they fix the parabolic action (or lack thereof) of the "bomber" birds' payload egg? I had gotten so used to the extremely satisfying physics of the game that when that one came along and didn't describe a curved trajectory upon release, it totally threw me off and still does to today.

more than 3 years ago
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Research Suggests E-Readers Are "Too Easy" To Read

tarsi210 Re:I can't believe I'm saying this (185 comments)

To be honest, I was trying to be a dick to attempt some humor on the subject (perhaps poorly), although I do wonder what the spread of technical knowledge is on e-Readers. That's what *I* would use them for, if I had one.

I don't find Twilight all that offensive from a reading standpoint, although being a sci-fi/fantasy geek, it's far too scant of detail and background. That being said, as I said to someone who was protesting the books as being hackneyed vamp porn, if you're reading Twilight to read a good fantasy-vampire novel, you're reading it for the wrong reason.

more than 3 years ago
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Research Suggests E-Readers Are "Too Easy" To Read

tarsi210 Failed to Mention (185 comments)

TFA failed to mention that the bulk of the content found on the e-Readers surveyed was copies of the Twilight series and whatever's on O's list these days.

Somehow, I doubt it's the font that is making everyone stupid...

more than 3 years ago
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2010 Election Results Are In

tarsi210 Iowa's Shame (1530 comments)

Look away from Iowa this morning; it has failed to be a bastion of rational thought and discourse, if it ever was.

We re-elected a governor who, in the 1980s and early 90s, managed to drive our state and especially our educational system straight into the ground, and has already stated plans to cut spending on education already. We kept such old-school dips such as Grassley and Latham, elected King, and gave the Secretary of State job to a guy who isn't sure what that position actually does. We ousted 3 Supreme Court judges for a single decision they handed down, declaring the ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional, thus introducing partisan politics into the judicial system (which will give us years of benefits, I don't doubt)...BUT! We managed to pass a constitutional amendment, no less, to permanently fund wildlife areas so hunters have more things to kill.

In recap:

  • Memory? What memory?
  • Old school == best school
  • Civil liberties? Not here!
  • Thank god we saved the fucking pheasants.

more than 3 years ago
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US Objects To the Kilogram

tarsi210 Re:Who cares? (538 comments)

Touché, pussycat.

more than 3 years ago
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US Objects To the Kilogram

tarsi210 Who cares? (538 comments)

It's the US of A -- we don't use the kilogram anyway. Change it as you like.

That being said, keep your filthy hands off my hogshead.

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook Is Down

tarsi210 This Just In (448 comments)

PALO ALTO, CA -- Millions of Internet users simultaneously threw up their hands in frustration and disgust Thursday afternoon as Facebook.com, a popular website providing distractions from productivity, inter-personal communication services, and a next-generation forum for thousands of misplaced USENET trolls, blinked off the Interwebs in a bright display of sparks and an anti-orgasmic groan.

Calls to Facebook headquarters were not answered but when the machine picked up, background noises included explosions, people screaming, and a burly man shouting DOS commands in a fierce staccato.

Authorities were put on alert status and reinforcements were called in to deal with the huge amount of LOLs and WTFs that had begun to pile up at intersections, due to the timing corresponding with the release of teenagers from school and their subsequent activities. Counselors were bracing themselves to deal with the myriad of relationships that have been thrust violently into limbo as users have been unable to hook up, break up, get married, or get "into a relationship" with their BFF.

Evan Williams, CEO of the popular sister-site Twitter, said in a statement that they were jumping in to help. "We've brought more servers online to deal with the influx of users who need to update their status, complain about a political party, or notify classmates that they are, 'skanky hors'." Williams also noted that they were partnering with TwitPic and other add-on services to ensure that the steady stream of photos of asses, children doing stupid things, and people drinking in semicircles would be preserved.

Ag secretary Vilsack presented a sober speech Thursday afternoon, lamenting the millions of dollars in crop and animal losses expected from the downtime of Facebook. "We know a lot of virtual farmers out there are hurting, " he stated. "You should know -- we will be here to help you rebuild."

Meanwhile, during the downtime, researchers discovered a rather large blue space available outside of their houses and middle age housewives were said to be seen in states of ecstasy from a natural phenomenon known as, "sunshine".

about 4 years ago
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BP Permanently Seals Gulf Oil Well

tarsi210 Besides a Bad PR Strategy... (368 comments)

is there any GOOD reason why they simply didn't repair the blowout preventer, hook up a new dipstick, set up a new rig, and keep on a-pumpin'?

I mean, I realize that a half billion people would have descended on it in angry, wet mobs, but...it's an oil well. There's hundreds like it still in operation. If they could safely get it back in operation, rather than forgo all the effort to FIND oil and get it drilled, why not....simply continue pumping?

Maybe it was a lost cause on re-connecting everything, and maybe it was just a PR issue, but it always surprised me that they said they'd just kill it off.

more than 4 years ago
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Time To Dump XP?

tarsi210 Organically Only (1213 comments)

We've already made the decision to upgrade organically -- as new hardware comes in with 7, we'll run it, but otherwise, we will not upgrade. There's absolutely ZERO benefit that we can see to our company and the potential for immense costs, so it's a no-brainer. It's a good product, there's just no increase in benefit.

I have yet to see a business analysis of Windows 7 citing the points that should make an upgrade appealing for a business -- stability? We have that with XP already. Rarely does it crash or have issues. Security? We're not open to the outside and we have good protection with a low infection rate. Hardware compatibility? Easily navigated for now -- none of the standard issue workstations require fancy hardware anyway. Flashy animated windows and icons? Yes, clearly we missed the ROI on that one.

Pfft. Wake me when there's something significant, hrm?

more than 4 years ago
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Google Wave Now Open To All

tarsi210 Yes, open to all... (180 comments)

...and still just as useless. Well, ok -- non-realtime collaborative efforts, perhaps. Brainstormings. Things like that.

But after it takes you 3 years to get everyone on Google, set up, working right (damned ad-block), etc. and THEN you can start working together -- oh, but wait, half the people don't know how to use Wave, so you have to teach them how to use it -- yes, dammit, it's more than just IM, it's all sorts of...oh, read the docs, won't you? -- THEN you can finally get down to working on the pro....

What? You have to go? Oh, I guess we DID spend the entire 2-hour meeting setting this crap up. Fine, reschedule for another day. AND ON A PHONE THIS TIME.

more than 4 years ago
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Flash Is Not a Right

tarsi210 Sounds like a Case of the Spostas (850 comments)

Why does this strike me that this is more about a bunch of so-called, "developers," who are getting all huffy about not being able to easily whack out Whack-A-Mole and Fart apps for the i(Pad|Touch|Phone), than about a true fight for a "right" to develop as you please? So develop stuff in Flash -- you just won't be able to publish it via these devices. Why is this a big surprise? It's not as if Apple's hidden the fact that Flash isn't supported. It's not like you USED to be able to use it and now you can't -- they've been VERY open about their dick-waving with Adobe.

Hey -- I want it to have Flash, too. I'd like to have a Ferrari, but it's just not in the cards, ya know?

A million baby entrepreneurs thought that the iPad would SURELY have to allow the use of Flash and they were already counting the stacks of bills in their minds garnered from the various apps they were going to whack out in a hurry using Flash; now that dream has been shattered and they're getting all surly about it. Wah.

more than 4 years ago
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True Tales of Tech Hoarding

tarsi210 Re:Whatever. (268 comments)

Beowulf cluster of Gopher servers, naturally. RAID-6 with 8" floppies.

more than 4 years ago
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True Tales of Tech Hoarding

tarsi210 Whatever. (268 comments)

These people have clearly not visited my house. Or any of the houses of the other geeks I hang with. Come back when you have 100+ machines in a single basement and we'll talk.

more than 4 years ago

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The Spanking of the Geek Public with New Hardware

tarsi210 tarsi210 writes  |  more than 12 years ago The bastards that peddle bright flashy hardware to us poor, impoverished geeks will paddle the lakes of fire with their tongues, I swear.

My main workstation has been crappy for months, the motherboard is a crappy Via chipset and it constantly crashes or kernel panics or hiccups of some sort, prefering to exercise its reset button more than the enter key on the keyboard. Thank goodness for Reiserfs.

And despite the fact that it's only 500mHz with 128MB (the rest of the RAM was so buggy and unreliable that I might as well have been playing Russian Roulette with an automatic...I would have had better luck) it was a good system and I don't usually need more power than it has.

But, eBay, my everlasting weakness, reached up and grabbed me and I found and bid and won a new system, Athlong XP 2200+ 1.8GHz, Gigabyte GA-7DX+ motherboard, 400w Black ATX Midtower case. Very nice, very shnazzy. $400.

I really, really could have spent that $400 somewhere else. It's a good deal, don't get me wrong, but I have other uses for that sort of money right now...bills, bills, uh...bills, and things like that. I didn't really need to do that, but damn these people that wave flashy hardware in front of my face. It'll be obsolete before the darn thing gets shipped to me and I'll drool all the same.

And to add insult to injury, I'll have to buy RAM and a new NIC before I can use it. (no RAM came with it, and my current NIC is ISA) I'd love Crucial registered DDR, but I'd like to keep my left nut, too. What does a guy do?

I've done my best to console myself and justify this system in my mind. "Your other machine is a chunk of shit, you'll get more work done this way, you'll forgive yourself when you're playing games and full-screen movies. TRUST ME." I think I'll get over it in time. For the moment, I'm miffed and overjoyed and annoyed and ecstatic.

Oh, the anguish of hardware.

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The Eternity of Floppies

tarsi210 tarsi210 writes  |  more than 12 years ago From the: Why-in-the-hell-does-ancient,-crappy-technology-insist-on-persisting? Dept.

Honestly, has everyone had enough of floppies yet? Are they dead, folks? Please???

I sit here, using 'dd' to image the floppy disks that my corporation possesses, in hopes of burning all of the images onto a CD-R and calling it quits for storing these damn things. Now, mind you, I'm going to make myself a copy of these, because there is some prime software here that I can use on my vintage machines back home. But do we honestly need to keep the disks around for Netscape 1.1?

This is old tech, folks. A flimsy, spinning ferrite disk in a plastic cover. Woo. How sophisticated and reliable is that? And yet, even as I speak, my CEO thinks that the floppy is next to God for storage solutions. I swear, the largest trains are the hardest to stop...

Save the floppies for the older machines, please. And that's fine, lord knows I support older machines (ComputerShelter.org) but at the same time, I'm ready for modern machines to get rid of them. Bootable CDROMs were a godsend.

Hang loose, sit tight,and don't let anyone tell you that you aren't as good as you know you are.

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