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Comments

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California Governor Vetoes Bill Requiring Warrants For Drone Surveillance

westlake Federalism 101 (101 comments)

It is not that surprising, given that the executive branch has determined it has the right to kill anyone, anywhere on earth, for secret reasons, based on secret evidence.

one of the reasons why the geek remains politically impotent is that he can't remember the most basic distinctions between state and federal governments.

what he has is a set of memes that he shoehorns into every argument.

yesterday
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Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

westlake Bashed. (156 comments)

At least it's still news when we learn about Mac and Linux vulnerabilities. :-)

This is Bash, remember.

Stallman and the Free Software Foundation (FSF) considered a free shell that could run existing sh scripts so strategic to a completely free system built from BSD and GNU code that this was one of the few projects they funded themselves.

Bash (Unix shell)

The beta was released in 1989. 25 years ago.

Which makes a perfect farce of the notion that many eyes make all bugs shallow.

yesterday
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Marines Put Microsoft Kinect To Work For 3D Mapping

westlake Circling the wagons. (37 comments)

Congratulations, Slashdot ... this is precisely what you should have expected when you opened your authentication to any asshole with a facebook account.
I swear, we could make Slashdot twice as intelligent by getting rid of the 7 digit ids.

It interests me that you posted this response as an A/C.

The problem with Slashdot isn't the 7-digit ID.

The problem with Slashdot is that the geek's mind turns to mush when the talk turns to certain subjects, like intellectual property or gender issues in tech.

2 days ago
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Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

westlake Whistling past the graveyard. (325 comments)

Except that Windows probably has just as many holes only you dont know about them because they aren't public or because Microsoft has decided not to invest the engineering resources to fix them.

I think it is fair to remind the geek that BASH is a product of the FSF and has been in use since 1989.

25 years ago.

Which makes a perfect farce of the notion that many eyes make all bugs shallow.

2 days ago
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Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

westlake Re:So offer a cost effective replacement (185 comments)

The solution is that I shouldn't have to send my credit card number to every retailer I want to do business with.

The online retailer knows what you are buying and it needs a shipping address, and e-mail address and/or or phone number as a point of contact. Simply shopping the brick and mortar stores exposes pretty much everything anyone would want to know about your health, income, employment, housing, marital status, lifestyle choices and so on.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

westlake The geek with a 2x4 foot chip on his shoulder. (179 comments)

Reports validate a manager's existence in an organization and shiny charts make them feel warm and fuzzy inside.

It's a manager's job to manage. It's IT's job to present the information he needs to manage things well in a form with which he is comfortable.

5 days ago
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Emma Watson Leaked Photo Threat Was a Plot To Attack 4chan

westlake Idiot. (590 comments)

That she didn't call their bluff...
Means that she probably did take some nudies at some point.

She is not obliged to call anyone's bluff.

Not everyone has a mind as adolescent as the geek who mods up craptastic sexist comments like yours as "Interesting."

about a week ago
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It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

westlake Re:Book Bans (402 comments)

I think that sacred texts (from any religion) in general should not be in public school libraries - those can be had at public libraries.

The Library of America recently published Shakespeare in America: An Anthology from the Revolution to Now:

It could do the same for the King James Bible, with only the slightest of changes in the wording of this introduction:

"The history of Shakespeare in America is also the history of America itself."

Shakespeare was a central, inescapable part of America's literary inheritance, and a prism through which crucial American issues---revolution, slavery, war, social justice---were refracted and understood. In tracing the many surprising forms this influence took, Shapiro draws on many genres---poetry, fiction, essays, plays, memoirs, songs, speeches, letters, movie reviews, comedy routine---and on a remarkable range of American writers from Emerson, Melville, Lincoln, and Mark Twain to James Agee, John Berryman, Pauline Kael, and Cynthia Ozick.

The Judeo-Christian sacred texts are woven even more deeply into our history, language and culture. You stumble about blindly if you don't know them.

about a week ago
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Service Promises To Leak Your Documents If the Government Murders You

westlake "Publish and be damned." (98 comments)

Read the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton".

Milverton was shot dead by one of his victims who wouldn't pay up and suffered accordingly, with Holmes instinctively tidying things up for her afterward.

in Elementary, both blackmailer and accomplice are killed by a not-so-innocent victim who saw a chance to take their place.

In "Sherlock," it is Holmes himself who pulls the trigger.

The character of Charles Augustus Milverton was based on a real blackmailer, Charles Augustus Howell. He was an art dealer who preyed upon an unknown number of people, including the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Doyle's literary inspiration often came from his natural interest in crime, and he had no tolerance for predators. Howell died in 1890 in circumstances as strange as any of Doyle's novels: His body was found near a Chelsea public house with his throat posthumously slit, with a ten-shilling coin in his mouth. The presence of the coin was known to be a criticism of those guilty of slander.

The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton

about a week ago
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Service Promises To Leak Your Documents If the Government Murders You

westlake I Am Invincible! (98 comments)

Holding all the cards makes you the one everyone want to kill --- or crack wide open.
The geek who can keep his big mouth shut outside the narrow bounds of the darknet is a rare beast indeed. If I held secrets hot enough to burn, my first instinct would be to publish them straight-way and slip away quietly in the ensuing chaos.

about a week ago
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Why You Can't Manufacture Like Apple

westlake Re:Is there a point to this story? (408 comments)

It's cute to see how much money they blow on their designs, but really, is this news, or stuff that matters?

It matters to the geek who thinks that a kickstarter and 3D printer is a viable business plan in market where style, design, fit and finish in hardware matters.

about two weeks ago
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KDE's UI To Bend Toward Simplicity

westlake Re:Simplification, n. (184 comments)

Simplification (UI design): the act of removing or transforming discoverable, one-step, procedures in opaque, 3-step-after-reconfiguration procedures. See Gnome, Windows, OSX.

In other words, a tiny fraction shy of 100% of the desktop market.

The only sensible conclusion to be drawn from this is that almost no one strays more that a half step away from the system defaults.

about two weeks ago
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TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

westlake Re:Why does this always happen? (268 comments)

It's not a commercial product so who cares if some PHB who thinks the name of an application is important doesn't like it?

If the geek wants encryption to become universal, he has to remove any and all barriers to adoption, both technical and psychological. That implies reaching out to the PHB, the home and SOHO user, and so on.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

westlake Complacency or fatigue? (275 comments)

I think I am starting to see the effects of complacency.

Aren't you confusing complacency with fatigue? Passion with commitment? There is a price to be paid for the adrenalin high.

about two weeks ago
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TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

westlake Why does this always happen? (268 comments)

They're obviously using my HorribleNameGenerator library. I'm proud to have contributed to so many FOSS projects.

Nothing inspires more confidence in a complex cryptographic system than a name like "CipherShed.'

Is the geek born with this impulse to shoot himself in the foot?

about two weeks ago
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Native Netflix Support Is Coming To Linux

westlake The geek walls himself in. (178 comments)

We can only hope... eventually the walled gardens will be an effective quarantine and we can have our Internet again.

Your Internet was defined by the dial-up modem and a multitude of clients that fromed the basis of an Internet suite and were barely one or two steps up in convenience and functionality from the BBS of 1980 and Telnet, circa 1969.

about two weeks ago
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Native Netflix Support Is Coming To Linux

westlake Re:Finally! (178 comments)

It almost seems like an accident, though. They need to move to HTML5 because Microsoft supports its technologies like high school students support their relationships.

12 years for Win XP.

What is the difference between mainstream support and extended support?

Mainstream support --- Microsoft will offer mainstream support for a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product's general availability, or for 2 years after the successor product is released, whichever is longer. For example, if you buy a new version of Windows and five years later another version is released, you will still have two years of support left for the previous version.

Extended support --- Microsoft will offer extended support for either a minimum of 5 years from the date of a product's general availability, or for 2 years after the second successor product (two versions later) is released, whichever is longer.

Windows lifecycle fact sheet

about two weeks ago
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Native Netflix Support Is Coming To Linux

westlake Be careful what you wish for. (178 comments)

I'm not even sure why you'd want to use any web browser at all for this kind of thing.

The general purpose web browser is becoming an afterthought.

You can live very comfortably within the walled gardens of Amazon, iTunes, Netflix and the rest --- and while the geek won't want to hear this, this is where most people are spending their time now.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

westlake Re:Thought crime (165 comments)

They have only thought about it. So they are being prosecuted for a thought crime.

It's both a pity and a blessing that Orwell didn't live long enough to see the geek in full flight.

The organization and planning of a crime, the recruitment of others to assist you, is more than thought, it is action.

about two weeks ago
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Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

westlake Re:News for nerds (165 comments)

While the IS stuff is rather a hot news item, I do not agree that slashdot is really the place for it.
One of the reasons I look at Slashdot is to get a nice newsfeed without 5 items per day about wild muslims.

The problem is that the Slashdot geek seems increasingly resistant to any story outside his comfort zone.

You see this most clearly when a story cuts close to the bone on issues of race and class and gender in tech --- but it comes through elsewhere as well.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Kidnapped by an Uber Driver in DC

westlake westlake writes  |  about 3 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Tweet says it all:

Was just kidnapped by an @uber driver in DC, held against my will, and involved in a high speed chase across state lines with police

#Crazy

— Ryan W Simonetti

According to Simonetti, his Uber driver panicked and made a run for it when being tailed by a taxi inspector .

''It was like an episode of ‘Cops,'' Simonetti said. ''We’ve all seen the ‘Cops’ episode. This only ends two ways. Either the car crashes or the guy jumps out and runs. And he had plenty of opportunities to slow down and jump out and run, and he wasn’t doing that.''

“It was insane,” Simonetti said. ''I physically tried to force his leg to hit the brake. I ripped off his pant leg. I said, ‘Here's two options. You take this exit, or I’m going to knock the side of your head in. If we crash, we crash, but you’re gonna kill us anyway.''

The driver in question has been ''deactivated'' by Uber.

Man visiting D.C. says Uber driver took him on wild ride"

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Ethanol runs out of gas.

westlake westlake writes  |  about 10 months ago

westlake (615356) writes "By pulling back on an effort to guarantee ethanol an ever-growing share of the nation’s gasoline supply, the Obama administration could be putting the bio-fuels industry into the deep freeze.
Corn-based biofuel has for years been untouchable politically — until now. Reasons for the change are many: The boom in domestic oil drilling. Demand for gasoline has slumped. And criticism of the environmental impacts of corn ethanol has taken hold nationally."

Link to Original Source
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Google Patents Pay-Per-Gaze Add Technology

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The "focus" to no one's surprise is on Google Glass. For a look at the patent click here: Gaze tracking system

In particular, it outlines a method for billing advertisers based on the number of times users look at an advert – either online or offline, via a billboard, magazine or newspaper. While gaze tracking may sound a little creepy, it is merely an extension of the pay-per-click model commonly used to charge for online advertising, which measures how many users have engaged with a particular advert.

How Pay-Per-Gaze Advertising Could Work With Google Glass

Creepy, I can live with. Maybe. But a revenue stream based on how long you can keep your eyes focused on adds viewed through Google Glass is simply and plainly irresponsible."

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The Big Story In PC Gaming That Slashdot Ignores.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "The Humble Origin Bundle has raised $6.8 million for charity. It has nine days and nineteen hours to break $10 million in sales.
The story has received broad coverage elsewhere. It's an impressive showing, but not a word, not a whisper of it has reached the front pages of Slashdot.
It is EA and it is Origin and Steam. It is Windows. It is AAA mass market titles like Dead Space, Battlefield 3 and The Sims. Eight games. 200 GB of prime download content. Yours for a $5 gift to the American Red Cross and others.
The Humble Bundle has been — and continues to be — a showcase for Indie gaming and the Linus port. But promotions on this scale could permanently alter the landscape."
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The Humble Origin Bundle: Geek vs Gamer.

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year ago

westlake (615356) writes "In its first day and with four hours and thirteen days to go The Humble Origin Bundle has seen 760,000 sales and raised $3.6 million for charities like the American Red Cross, with all proceeds going to your charities of choice.

The games are mainstream AAA list titles:

Dead Island 1&3, Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box, Crysis 2, Mirror's Edge, Medal of Honor, Battlefield 3 and The Sims 3 Starter Pack. Distribution is through Origin and Steam. Steam keys are available for most, but not all games. The Sims 3 is available for the Mac. It's quite possible that one or two games could be added later.

It's been a tortuous day for the geek — gamer. It's EA and it is Origin. The promotion has totally eclipsed this week's hard-core, multi-platform, DRM free, indie Introversion Humble Bundle (Defcon, Uplink, Darwinia) which sold a respectable 55,000 units, with a return of $320 thousand."
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Suspect in Boston Marathon Dead In Shppt-Out With Police

westlake westlake writes  |  about a year and a half ago

westlake (615356) writes "The breaking story from Reuters:

HOW THE NIGHT BEGAN

About five hours after the FBI released the pictures of the bombing suspects, a police officer was shot and killed on the campus of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Middlesex County District Attorney said in a statement.

A short time later, police received reports of a carjacking by two men who kept their victim inside the car for about half an hour.

Police pursued that car to Watertown, where explosives were thrown from the car at police and gunfire was exchanged.

''During the exchange of the gunfire, we believe that one of the suspects was struck and ultimately taken into custody. A second suspect was able to flee from that car and there is an active search going on at this point in time,'' Colonel Timothy Alben, superintendent of the Massachusetts State Police, told a news conference. http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/04/19/us-usa-mit-gunshots-idUSBRE93I04520130419" a>One suspect in Boston bombing dead, manhunt underway for second suspect

"
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Contract Dispute Grounds Steve Jobs' iYacht "Venus"

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "The BBC notes that the designer of Steve Jobs' 105 million euro mega-yacht "Venus" has had the boat impounded in Amsterdam over the non-payment of 3 million euros of his 9 million euro fee.
It's the familiar story of story of a handshake deal that was never fully spelled out in a written contract and may reflect as well a willful blindness on all sides to Jobs visibly failing health."

Link to Original Source
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In The World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "From Peoria and the WSJ a look at the giant trucks manufactured by Komatsu and Caterpillar.

" In certain areas — notably aircraft, industrial engines, excavators and railway and mining equipment — the U.S. exports far more than it imports. These industries produce relatively small numbers of very expensive goods, requiring specialized technology and labor. Their competitive advantage rests partly on expertise built by U.S. companies in making durable, high-tech weaponry and other equipment for the military — frequently applicable to other products."

It may surprise the geek to learn that Komatsu doesn't employee a single industrial robot. The quality of workmanship simply isn't there where it is needed,In World of Big Stuff, the U.S. Still Rules "

Link to Original Source
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The all-TIME List of 100 Best In PC and Console Gaming

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "It's the season for lists and Time's Matt Peckham looks back on forty years PC and console gaming. There are some odd choices and missing pieces, of course. You can't hope to please everyone. Grim Fandango, for example, must stand for all the Lucas Arts games. The geek will find the inclusion of Net Hack cheering and a nod to the Indie gaming community.

For those who are finding the net a little slow this long holiday weekend, here is a dirrect link to the full list and Index page: All-TIME 100 greatest video games. [Index]"

Link to Original Source
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Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game

westlake westlake writes  |  about 2 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Benjamin Poynter "In a Permanent Save State" imagines the afterlife of seven Foxconn workers who committed suicide, based on Buddhist traditions. It was pulled from the Apple App Store after narely an hour this weekend, but beautiful and haunting images and video from the game survive and have been posted to the web. In A Permanent Save State Fills You With Wonder And Sadness, Images from the banned Apple/Foxconn game"
Link to Original Source
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Apple Retreats On EPEAT Environmental Standards

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "Apple's Senior VP for Hardware Engineering, Bob Mansfield, has posted a brief announcement of Apple's return to the EPEAT "green hardware" program:

We’ve recently heard from many loyal Apple customers who were disappointed to learn that we had removed our products from the EPEAT rating system. I recognize that this was a mistake. Starting today, all eligible Apple products are back on EPEAT.

It’s important to know that our commitment to protecting the environment has never changed, and today it is as strong as ever. Apple makes the most environmentally responsible products in our industry. In fact, our engineering teams have worked incredibly hard over the years to make our products even more environmentally friendly, and much of our progress has come in areas not yet measured by EPEAT.

For more information on this breaking story: Apple moves products back on EPEAT environmental standard"
Link to Original Source

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Apple Exits "Green Hardware" Program

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "From CNETreports that Apple is turning its back on the EPA supported EPEAT hardware certification program.

One of the problems EPEAT sees are barriers to recycling. Batteries and screens glued into place. That sort of thing.

There is a price for Apple in this.

CIO Journal notes that the U.S. government requires that 95 percent of its electronics bear the EPEAT seal of approval; large companies such as Ford and Kaiser Permanente require their CIOs to buy from EPEAT-certified firms; and many of the largest universities in the U.S. prefer to buy EPEAT-friendly gear."

Link to Original Source
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Encyclopedia Britannica Goes "Out of Print" After 244 Years of Production

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The Guardian is reporting that the 2010 edition of the Brittanica will be the last in print, The DVD edition and on-line subscription service will continue. The Brittanica's great strengh historically was in its signed contributions from men like Freud and Einstein. It was the quality of the writing as much as the content that made browsing these massive and often unweildy sets such a pleasure."
Link to Original Source
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USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 2 years ago

westlake writes "The AP is reporting that world's first nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise is being retired after fifty years of active service — the longest of any warship in US naval history. The big ship had become notoriously difficult to keep in repair. The only ship in its age and class, breakdowns became frequent and replacement parts often had to be custom made. Despite its place in naval history and popular culture, Enterprise will meet its end at the scrap yard and not be preserved as a museum. Famed USS Enterprise Takes Its Final Voyage"
Link to Original Source
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The elephant in the room

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 3 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Microsoft posts a record first quarter and Slashdot studiously ignores it. No matter that news like this rates some comment on OS News, Ars Technica, and so on. Microsoft thanks Windows 7, Office 2010, Xbox for record first quarter But the bigger story here, I think, is the "death of Linux" as a consumer brand name — to borrow a theme from an earlier post — and perhaps something even more disturbing. Wherever the future of Android and Chrome may lie, they belong to Google and AdSense. The sale of the user, rather than the sale or service of a product. In no country or region of the world and in no market segment do the stats for the traditional "community oriented" Linux distribution look at all healthy. StatCounter Global Stats"
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The Dark Tower Coming To Theaters Near You

westlake westlake writes  |  about 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "Nothing quite like this has ever been tried before. But Reuter's, The L.A. Times and many others are reporting that Ron Howard will produce Stephen King's The Dark Tower, for Universal as a theatrical trilogy with the in-between stories told through two seasons of an NBC television series. No news as yet on casting — suggestions anyone?"
Link to Original Source
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Tweet 911

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "A survey by the American Red Cross reveals that 3 out of 4 social media users expect help to arrive within one hour of their tweet or post to Facebook. More than 1 in 4 expect help to arrive in less than fifteen minutes.
Which is alarmingly naive.
In flat contraction to this, about half are unconvinced that the first responders are listening in at all.74% of Social Media Users Expect Cries for Help to Be Answered Within an Hour"

Link to Original Source
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The Hotness of Windows 7

westlake westlake writes  |  more than 4 years ago

westlake (615356) writes "The success of Windows 7 can be seen in the second-quarter numbers. Profits up 60% from December 08. Operating profitability in the Windows and Windows Live Division 78% in the quarter. Operating profitability for the whole company: 44%. It's been a big story in the trade and financial press, but studiously ignored on Slashdot. The Hotness of Windows 7"
Link to Original Source

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