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Engineering the Perfect Coffee Mug

thatseattleguy Re:Mystery Material Is Probably Gallium (145 comments)

Dense doesn't matter for the physics of the heat, of course. But it makes the cup more expensive to ship and to heavy to use. That's my point about gallium.

about 4 months ago
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Engineering the Perfect Coffee Mug

thatseattleguy Re:Mystery Material Is Probably Gallium (145 comments)

All good, except; gallium is hella expensive. And very very dense, therefore very heavy.
My money is on good old-fashioned paraffin wax, which (at least in the bulk candle variety that I bought in my hippie candle-making days) melts at exactly 140F.
Cheap and food-grade (it coats many candy items) and pretty light.

about 4 months ago
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Users Revolt Over Yahoo Groups Update

thatseattleguy Change is hard - and godawful software is harder (331 comments)

It's easy to opine on a topic you know little about with a bromide like, "change is hard for a lot of people". There, POOF! You've successfully dismissed anyone who has a complaint against the change - including those cogent technical reasons for thinking that Yahoo has in this case effed up royally and radically diminished the functionality of an old (but reliable and working) interface. Now they're all nearly put in some "change is hard" Luddite basket. Way to go, Captain. Rhetoric!

.

Tell you what. Let's go ahead and have you *moderate and run* (not just play with as an end user) a Yahoo group with 27,000 members in your spare time (as I do and have for many years). You get a week to do it with those "ancient" tools and interface, and then another week to do with with the badly broken, slow, ill-conceived, feature-poor, absurdly buggy new interface. After that week - if you can even get through it - come back and tell me that "Neo" is working just fine, thank you very much.

We won't even get started on your false dichotomy - that because some features might have been desired (eg inline attachments, which my users would never want or need) that it was necessary to completely revamp the entire interface and throw out about half the existing functionality to provide them.

about 7 months ago
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Home wireless security level?

thatseattleguy Re:WPA is in the wrong category there (438 comments)

Agreed. My network (which serves me and a couple of my neighbors) uses WPA2 with a decent passphrase, does not hide its SSID - but does have DHCP disabled. That's not so much for security (although, yea, it does present a tiny additional barrier) as for my easy tracking of rough bandwidth usage. Each neighbor has a /28 block assigned to them that they're told to pull their static IPs from (e.g.: "You and your family and guests should just use IP address numbers from the 16 possibilities 192.168.10.64 through .79".) They all seem OK with doing that (though setting up Windows laptops to do static IPs but still also to be able to do DHCP in coffeeshops is an effing pain, even with Win 8. Macs are far simpler and more elegant in that respect). This way if one neighbor is massively overusing bandwidth, from the IP range I know whose door to knock on and ask them to have their teen stop watching so much pr0n.

I could accomplish the same thing by using DHCP but having a MAC tagger on the firewall, but then I'd need to keep track of all their devices and associated MAC addresses, which would be much more of a pain, and more invasive (since it would track usage back definitively to a single device rather than just the family "pool"). /tsg/

about 8 months ago
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Shapeshifting: Proposal For a New Periodic Table of the Elements

thatseattleguy Iron-y coincidence? (87 comments)

One interesting feature of the table is the resulting position of iron(Fe) - it serves as the single, pivotal point that "links" the two halves of the table and spiral together.

And, of course, iron is at the bottom of the binding energy curve - it can't be fissioned or fusioned to provide net energy output.

My physics education is too far in the distant past to discern if these two things are just a coincidence - or significant feature resulting from the inherent structure of the table.

about 9 months ago
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I typically receive X pieces of misdelivered (postal) mail ...

thatseattleguy Next-door neighbors (217 comments)

About one a month. About 3/4 of that is for one of the next-door neighbors, which I attribute to envelopes sticking together. The rest is for "same house number, different [nearby] street" or "same street, different city zone" (eg, I'm on N 35th St but the address is for 35th Ave NE).

about a year ago
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Elon Musk Lays Out His Evidence That NYT Tesla Test Drive Was Staged

thatseattleguy Re:Discrepancies in both accounts (841 comments)

Wish I had mod points. Excellent, fair, detailed analysis. You must be new here. :)

about a year ago
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Rhombus Tech A10 EOMA-68 CPU Card Schematics Completed

thatseattleguy Re:Schematics? (155 comments)

Wish I had mod points to toss at you for this. Too many here - perhaps understandably - have no idea of the steps necessary to imagine, design, test, troubleshoot/re-engineer, certify, build, and ship a Real Working Product. If they knew even a fraction of what has to happen before something shows up at Newegg, they might have more understanding of why what you're trying to accomplish is so cool and potentially game-changing.

.
Kudos to you and your crew for getting even this far on a shoestring.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Most Underappreciated Sci-Fi Writer?

thatseattleguy Re:Gene Wolfe (1130 comments)

Would mod you up if I had points. And add:

Harlan Ellison: ""Gene Wolfe is engaged in the holy chore of writing every other author under the table. He is no less than one of the finest, most original writers in the world today. His work is singular, hypnotizing, startlingly above comparison."

about a year and a half ago
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Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?

thatseattleguy PCB swap is cheap, quick, and often works (504 comments)

In the very limited (3) cases that I've had to try and revive a client's dead desktop drive, replacing the PCB board from an identical model - usually purchased cheaply, used or new, online - has always worked.

The other advantage of this approach is that if the first drive becomes revivable, even a time, you now have a second same-capacity drive to transfer the data to (using intermediate storage media if in fact it was the PCB that was the problem and you can only get one drive working at a time).

If it doesn't work, you're no worse off and still have a replacement drive to load data from your (hopefully recent) backups.

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Engineer Discovers Android Spam Botnet, Google Denies Claim

thatseattleguy Re:Go Microsoft (152 comments)

And if anyone knows how to take what should be a simple, straightforward, technical discussion and turn it into a MS vs Google flame war, it will be Slashdot commenters.

about 2 years ago
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Slashdot Asks: Beating the Summer Heat?

thatseattleguy Not in the upper-left-hand corner (421 comments)

I live in Seattle, you insensitive clod!

(where many residents were still using their furnaces as of last week, and today's the first sunny and warmish-day in what seems like a month)

about 2 years ago
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StatCounter Blasts Microsoft's Claim About IE Still Being the Number 1 Browser

thatseattleguy Re:Who cares (160 comments)

(Gee, thanks for the civil reply. You gain a lot of karma points that way, I'm sure.)

In any case, the contention was not (if you read a bit more carefully) that a single-user metric should count the same user twice. Obviously. Rather, the argument is that at a single-user metric is not really a good one to measure 'market browser share' at all, because it overstates the usage by low-use, occasional users, and understates usage by high-use, constant users. As a website developer, sure, I'm interested in both per-visitor and per-page metrics - but the latter is much more important to me because it more accurately tallies who's using my site the most.

But since your position in Microsoft management is pretty secure, that distinction's probably not important to you.

about 2 years ago
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StatCounter Blasts Microsoft's Claim About IE Still Being the Number 1 Browser

thatseattleguy Re:Who cares (160 comments)

lol; "better" not "netter". Though that's that's probably true, too. :)

about 2 years ago
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StatCounter Blasts Microsoft's Claim About IE Still Being the Number 1 Browser

thatseattleguy Re:Who cares (160 comments)

Even if you think of this (as another commenter has it) as a "unique workflow", I think it misses an even greater source of error in NetApplication's approach. Consider:

- My grandma uses IE as preloaded on her Windows PC and goes to, say, Gmail (yes, at least I got her off Hotmail :) once a day to get her cat pictures. She's counted as a single unique visitor by NetApp.
- I go to Gmail with Chrome in the morning and live on it all day, loading hundreds if not thousands of pages during that time. Despite that, I'm _still_ counted as a single unique visitor by NetApp. Even though the "eyeball time" (the real "browser usage") between me and grandma is vastly different.

I think the "single user" metric has an inherent biased towards low-usage, unsophisticated users - the ones most likely not to have replaced IE as loaded on their systems. So it makes sense (not even counting the geo-weighting issues) that they'd have IE's share much higher than anyone else's. Though no single approach is perfect, that's why I think of the two StatCounter's is netter. (And frankly it's always been more in line with other metrics - like the Wikimedia stats - that seem unbiased and cut a wide swath of the Net. NetApplications has always been the outlier.)

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Reach out to an unhappy customer, get fired.

thatseattleguy thatseattleguy writes  |  more than 4 years ago

thatseattleguy (897282) writes "It started with a blog post complaining about the poor user interface design of American Airlines website (including a suggested redesign). The poster didn't expect a response, but received a nice and detailed email from a UI guy there, explaining why it was often tricky to good design at large companies, due to all of the different interests — but says that good stuff is coming, even if it may take some time.

So, how did AA respond when they learned of this? It fired the guy.

http://techdirt.com/articles/20091106/0337536829.shtml"

Link to Original Source
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FBI: Lieberman 2006 campaign crashed own website

thatseattleguy thatseattleguy writes  |  about 6 years ago

thatseattleguy writes "Back in 2006, the campaign of incumbent Senator Joseph Lieberman implied that supporters of rival Ned Lamont had hacked and disrupted his Web site. Now comes perhaps the final word, the result of freedom of information requests filed by The Stamford Advocate: the campaign crashed its own site, due to a badly misconfigured server and excessive email traffic.

"The server that hosted the joe2006.com Web site failed because it was overutilized and misconfigured. There was no evidence of (an) attack," an email memo obtained from the F.B.I by the Standford Advocate said. "The site crashed because Lieberman officials continually exceeded a configured limit of 100 e-mails per hour the night before the primary, and [...] the system administrator misinterpreted the root cause. The system administrator finally declared the server was being attacked and the Lieberman campaign accused the Ned Lamont campaign."

No word on whether the site was hosted by Apache or IIS."

Link to Original Source
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Marilyn Monroe Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

thatseattleguy thatseattleguy writes  |  more than 5 years ago

thatseattleguy writes "The law firm of Loeb & Loeb didn't waste any time in striking back at the heirs of photographers who once photographed Marilyn Monroe, and who'd posted those copyrighted images online. For a while it looked like copyright might win: Courts in New York and California ruled that Marilyn Monroe LLC, which over the past couple of decades has claimed ownership of the late actress's "rights of publicity.", couldn't claim ownership of those rights here — in part because no such rights existed in law when she died in 1962. So Marilyn Monroe LLC did what it does best and played the power game, hiring Loeb to help push a bill through the California legislature that effectively abrogated the court rulings.

The fight had gone to court last year, and pitting the relatively recent idea of rights of publicity over the far older idea of copyright protection. Those court losses might have been devastating to the Monroe LLC, which over the past two decades has earned millions of dollars a year by marketing the late actress's name and likeness on an endless list of key chains, T-shirts, and other merchandise. (Forbes magazine ranks Marilyn at or near the top of its yearly list of top-earning dead celebrities.) Today came a press release from its law firm announcing that, in light of the new law, which went into effect of January 1, it had secured an order in the Los Angeles Federal District Court "granting reconsideration of the previous summary judgments.""
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Microsoft's 'HealthVault' really 'PornVault'?

thatseattleguy thatseattleguy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

thatseattleguy writes "Lauren Weinstein, the well-known commentator on technology, security, politics, and privacy, note in a recent blog entry that Microsoft's heavily-hyped HealthVault initiative — at least the search engine component — has significant quality control issues. "Completely valid queries to the HealthVault search engine — mentioning bodily parts or bodily functions — returned extremely high percentages (sometimes almost 100%) of porn keyword "sucker" pages. [...] HealthVault uses SSL crypto for searches in both directions. So finally there's a way to search for porn on the Net with better privacy! All Microsoft needs to do now is simply rebrand their service as "PornVault" — now that's a winner."

Note that this is a separate issue from previous commentary on the privacy implications of HealthVault, and the wisdom of having all your health and medical data in one centralized location, making it ever-so-easy to get at with a court order or governmental/law-enforcement request."

Link to Original Source
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thatseattleguy thatseattleguy writes  |  more than 6 years ago

thatseattleguy writes "Apple Matters has a opinion piece on four well-known Apple commentaters: "If you are a long-time Apple user then you have probably heard of the four pundits below. They have written reams of bad advice, poor comparisons, unclear analysis, insane predictions, and general crap. But if you are relatively new to the world of Apple then you might mistakenly assume that these guys actually know what they're talking about. Rest assured, they don't. This is a simple guide to the four biggest idiots out there writing about all things Apple. They all have different styles, but in the end you can't really trust any of them."

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