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Comments

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Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

whereiswaldo Definitions (362 comments)

What constitutes sexual assault and sexual harassment in this study? Sorry to be cynical, but phrases like these are too often used as weasel words trying to get a shock out of people (or in this case, more grant money).

about two weeks ago
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Slashdot Asks: Do You Want a Smart Watch?

whereiswaldo I'm waiting until... (381 comments)

I'm waiting until there's a smart watch that functions as a feature-rich health monitor. Tell me about my white blood cell count, blood pressure, vitamin deficiencies, and so on.

about two weeks ago
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Foxconn Replacing Workers With Robots

whereiswaldo Re:more leisure time for humans! (530 comments)

Commoditizing certain human labour. It's been happening for decades - you don't see gangs of people digging ditches anymore.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

whereiswaldo Funding (275 comments)

We need to make life multiplanetary - exactly my thinking. Where can I direct a donation to this effort? It's an investment in the future that I'm concerned about, not getting a monetary return.

about a month ago
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US Wants To Build 'Internet of Postal Things'

whereiswaldo First class letter mail down, parcels are up? (113 comments)

I receive more parcels now than ever before. Most of my shopping is done online. How is that not good for the postal service?

about a month ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

whereiswaldo Huge planet = Huge gravity (686 comments)

Could humans survive on a planet with 17x the gravity of Earth's? Not very effectively, I would guess.

about a month and a half ago
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NSA Surveillance Reform Bill Passes House 303 Votes To 121

whereiswaldo and for those outside the USA... (208 comments)

... the NSA has just freed up a bunch of server capacity for spying on _you_.

about 2 months ago
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Curiosity Rover May Have Brought Dozens of Microbes To Mars

whereiswaldo GOOD (97 comments)

In my opinion, we should be _populating_ planets, not keeping them sterile. We can do worthwhile science, watching low level life forms adapt to martian life.

about 2 months ago
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Facebook To Share Private Data With Politico

whereiswaldo data set? (157 comments)

If I put on my I-want-your-data hat for a second, I think giving a data set is the wrong approach. Give Politico a search interface to perform research on. Then I get to collect data on the things that Politico cares about and do my own tertiary data mining. Maybe that's a bad idea, I don't know. I'm not very good at being evil. ;)

more than 2 years ago
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House Kills SOPA

whereiswaldo Re:Absolutely (495 comments)

I think you hit on some good points here.

Slashdot is a totally different environment than a professional setting: there are CEOs, engineers, high school kids, lawyers, etc.. all here posting their thoughts. They all get lumped into the same bin of comments and moderated without regard to those unseen traits (at least, in theory). One day I might mod someone +1 insightful and the next day -1 troll. I don't risk losing my job by doing so. No one opinion is higher than the others, so there's nobody to target with bribes (well, other than the people selecting the stories to comment on). I'm sure there are groups on /. that moderate certain opinions down which is an issue. Still, I think this site is pointed in the right direction at least.

more than 2 years ago
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Putting Medical Records Into Patients' Hands

whereiswaldo Re:And do what with them? (211 comments)

By that logic, open source projects should stop providing source code, too, since most people can't understand it anyway. No need to mention that source code is available - let people ask for it.

more than 2 years ago
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Apple To Release List of Companies That Build Its Products Around the World

whereiswaldo Re:Then what? (164 comments)

You know, in a free(-ish) market, this is not a choice. You must use the cheapest, most profitable method that is available. The reason is that if you don't, somebody else will, and they will eventually drive you out of business.

Apple isn't leading the market based on price - their products are among the most expensive. It seems that using cheap labour simply maximizes their profit. I'd be interested in seeing a real justification that Apple would go out of business or lose their place in the market if they used more local companies and labour.
Even if they started with an increase of 5% or 10%, that could plant a seed for future local expansion. They have the clout to make "Made in America" something that other manufacturers want (need) to emulate.

more than 2 years ago
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Introversion and Solitude Increase Productivity

whereiswaldo Re:Not sure about this one. (214 comments)

If keeping a train of thought is a major problem, try this: remove caffeine from your diet, eat more healthy, exercise, set up your desk area clean and ergonomic, make sure you have proper lighting, avoid distracting music/noise.

more than 2 years ago
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Dropbox Founder Wants To Build the Next Google

whereiswaldo Re:Tough sell (165 comments)

I think when someone builds the next facebook and offers an ironclad contract forbidding any sale of personal data, I'd probably be willing to pay $5 or so per month for the service.

Indeed - I'd pay to not have my data pimped around. I don't know what vendors' single-minded fixation with free+advertising is all about.

more than 2 years ago
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Researchers Show How Cellular Complexity Can Evolve

whereiswaldo Re:inb4 (140 comments)

That's one of the best posts I've ever read on slashdot. Thank you for putting the effort into a thoughtful reply!

more than 2 years ago
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The Challenges of Building a Mars Base

whereiswaldo Re:Find precious metals on Mars (228 comments)

Mars is fundamentally inhospitable to human life. The rest of our solar system is fundamentally inhospitable to human life. This fairytale notion that we're going to magically whisk ourselves away to another planet, star system, galaxy, etc. and live there is just that: a fairytale notion.

I've said it before but we should first set our sights on propagating life to another planet. Even if we can only get bacteria to live on Mars or some other planet, it's a start. We'll learn from that relatively cheaply and become more prepared for human inhabitation when that time comes. Plus, it's something we can do right now. Let evolution take care of the rest, if that's all we could accomplish before Earth's life is extinguished.

more than 2 years ago
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What If Babbage Had Succeeded?

whereiswaldo Re:Roman steam engine (212 comments)

With slaves you've got parallelization down, but processing speed and inter-slave communication will become the bottleneck. You've also got to feed all these people which costs money.

more than 2 years ago
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EFF Asks To Make Jailbreaking Legal For All Devices

whereiswaldo Re:PC analogy (278 comments)

What if the coffee cup cost $100 to make but was sold for only $5 on the assumption that the money the buyer spends in Folgers coffee would make up for the cost over time?
Then people start growing their own coffee and using the cup to drink it. Now Folgers is losing $95 per coffee cup.

Is that not one of the arguments that device makers use?

more than 2 years ago
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Upcoming Changes To 'Ask Slashdot'

whereiswaldo Re:Serious Questions (230 comments)

Personally I think it'd be nice if large corporations could actually fish for input from their technical userbase. It's not like increased communication would be bad.

Considering the dollars that companies spend lobbying the government, being more in touch with people beforehand couldn't hurt either.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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The Enumerated Powers Act Gains Traction

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

whereiswaldo (459052) writes "For Americans, the "Enumerated Powers Act" would force Congress to cite its Constitutional authority for every law it passes. Representative Pete Sessions of Texas has just come on board, bringing the number of co-sponsors in the House to 53. Please support this cause and thank your representative or ask them to pledge their support."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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Ubuntu monitor support

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

I've been a big fan of Ubuntu for several years but until recently never had a problem with monitor support.

Apparently someone has removed the ability to hand-tweak monitor settings, therefore relying solely on Ubuntu's monitor detection abilities for determining available screen resolutions, refresh rate, etc. Unfortunately, when it can't detect a monitor, the user is left with no reasonable recourse but to move on to another operating system! That is what I have been forced to do on two systems now. So it looks like I will be returning to Fedora Linux which supports my monitors nicely.

I hope Ubuntu fixes this problem - looking at the forums there is no shortage of public outcry.

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CD/DVD media

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

There was a discussion recently about what types of CD and DVD media were good for long term archival.

For the record, I've copied 6+ years old CDR media from TDK and Sony and have not had any problems.
One media I stay away from is Memorex. I've been unable to recover many CDRs of that brand. Once bitten twice shy baby.

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LimeWire countersues recording industry

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 7 years ago

LimeWire countersues recording industry

  http://tinyurl.com/yg7rcy

"The proprietors of the P2P file-sharing program LimeWire, who were sued last August by a coalition of the major names in the recording industry, has filed a countersuit in the U.S. District Court in New York, claiming that the RIAA is using its copyrights over recorded works as a weapon to disable competition from anyone in the Internet distribution business."

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SCO vs. IBM

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 9 years ago

The court case between SCO and IBM is an interesting one. SCO reminds me of certain kinds of people. You just know they are full of it, yet they piss you off and you sometimes just lack something to say in defense until later when you're steaming and like "man, I shoulda said blah..."

I hope someone writes a details book about this court case. I'd be interested to read how IBM defended themselves and about some of the psychology of the case plus the author's own insight.

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Al Gore speaks about Bush's lawlessness

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  about 10 years ago

What is really going on in the United States with President Bush at the wheel? Definitely read this PDF on a speech given by Al Gore entitled "Institutionalized Dishonesty in the Bush Administration". It's really worth taking the time to read!

http://www.acslaw.org/pdf/gore6-24.pdf

Some hilights (typos are mine):

The kinds of unnatural, undemocratic activities in which this administration has engaged in order to aggrandize power have included censorship of scientific reports, manipulation of budgetary statistics, the silencing of dissent, the ignoring of intelligence. And although there have been other efforts by other presidents to encroach upon the legitimate prerogatives of Congress and the courts, there has never been this kind of persistent, systematic abuse of the truth and the institutionalization of dishonesty as a routine part of the policy process.

...

Moreover, in contrast, in sharp contrast to the courageous 93rd Congress that helped to save our country from Richard Nixon's sinister abuses, the current Congress, controlled by the president's party, has virtually abdicated its constitutional role to serve as an independent and coequal branch of government. Instead, this Republican-led Congress is content, for the most part, to take orders from the president on what to vote for and what to vote against. The Republican leaders of the House and Senate have even started blocking Democrats from attending conference committee meetings, where legislation takes its final form; and instead, they let the president's staff come to the meetings and write key parts of the laws for them.

...

First of all, more than 6,000 documents have been removed by the Bush administrations from governmental websites...
To muddy the clear concensus of the scientific community on global warming, the White House directed major changes and deletions to an EPA report -- changes that were so egregious that the agency said it was too embarassed to use the language insisted upon by the political employees at the White House.

...

And another example. When mass layoffs became too embarassing, this administration simply stopped publishing the regular layoff report that economists and others have been receiving for decades.

...

He [President Bush] will be seen as justified in acting to selectively suspend civil liberties, again on his personal discretion. He will continue to intimidate the press, and thereby distort the political reality experienced by the American people during his bid for reelection.

...

What we have now, however, is the result of decisions taken by a president and an administration for whom the best law is no law, so long as law threatens to constrain their political will. And when the constraints of law cannot be prevented or eliminated, then they maneuver it to be weakened by evasion, by delay, by hair-splitting, by obstruction and by failure to enforce on the part of those sworn to uphold the law.

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whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

As of June 23, 2004
-------------------
Gmail Agreement

In order to use Gmail you must read, understand and agree to Gmail Agreement. This agreement contains important terms and conditions that may affect your legal rights and responsibilities. Please read the current version of this agreement included below.

Gmail Terms of Use

Welcome to Gmail! Before your register for your Gmail account, you must read and agree to these Gmail Terms of Use and the following terms and conditions and policies, including any future amendments (collectively, the "Agreement"):

Google Terms of Service - Our general terms and conditions
Gmail Privacy Policy - How we maintain and protect your personal information in Gmail
Gmail Program Policies - Guidelines for using Gmail
Gmail FAQs - Details about Gmail

  Although we may attempt to notify you via your Gmail address when major changes are made, you should visit this page periodically to review the terms. Google may, in its sole discretion, modify or revise these terms and conditions and policies at any time, and you agree to be bound by such modifications or revisions. If you do not accept and abide by this Agreement, you may not use the Gmail service. In the event of an inconsistency between the Gmail Terms of Use and either Google's general Terms of Service (available at http://www.google.com/terms_of_service.html) or the Gmail Privacy Policy (available at http://www.google.com/gmail/help/privacy.html), the Gmail Terms of Use shall control. Nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to confer any third party rights or benefits.

      1. Description of Service. Gmail is a free, search-based email application from Google (the "Service"). You understand and agree that the Service may include content-targeted ads or other related information, as further described below and in the Gmail Privacy Policy. In addition, you understand and agree that the Service is provided on an AS IS and AS AVAILABLE basis. Google disclaims all responsibility and liability for the availability, timeliness, security or reliability of the Service. Google also reserves the right to modify, suspend or discontinue the Service with or without notice at any time and without any liability to you.

      2. Personal Use. The Service is made available to you for your personal use only. Due to the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 (which is available at http://www.ftc.gov/ogc/coppa1.htm), you must be at least thirteen (13) years of age to use this Service. You must provide current, accurate identification, contact, and other information that may be required as part of the registration process and/or continued use of the Service. You are responsible for maintaining the confidentiality of your Service password and account, and are responsible for all activities that occur thereunder. Google reserves the right to refuse service to anyone at any time without notice for any reason.

      3. Proper Use. You agree that you are responsible for your own communications and for any consequences thereof. Your use of the Service is subject to your acceptance of and compliance with the Agreement, including the Gmail Program Policies ("Program Policies"), located at http://www.google.com/gmail/help/program_policies.html, or such other URL as Google may provide from time to time. You agree that you will use the Service in compliance with all applicable local, state, national, and international laws, rules and regulations, including any laws regarding the transmission of technical data exported from your country of residence. You shall not, shall not agree to, and shall not authorize or encourage any third party to: (i) use the Service to upload, transmit or otherwise distribute any content that is unlawful, defamatory, harassing, abusive, fraudulent, obscene, contains viruses, or is otherwise objectionable as reasonably determined by Google; (ii) upload, transmit or otherwise distribute content that infringes upon another party's intellectual property rights or other proprietary, contractual or fiduciary rights or obligations; (iii) prevent others from using the Service; (iv) use the Service for any fraudulent or inappropriate purpose; or (v) act in any way that violates the Program Policies, as may be revised from time to time. Violation of any of the foregoing may result in immediate termination of this Agreement, and may subject you to state and federal penalties and other legal consequences. Google reserves the right, but shall have no obligation, to investigate your use of the Service in order to determine whether a violation of the Agreement has occurred or to comply with any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request.

      4. Content of the Service. Google takes no responsibility for third party content (including, without limitation, any viruses or other disabling features), nor does Google have any obligation to monitor such third party content. Google reserves the right at all times to remove or refuse to distribute any content on the Service, such as content which violates the terms of this Agreement. Google also reserves the right to access, read, preserve, and disclose any information as it reasonably believes is necessary to (a) satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, (b) enforce this Agreement, including investigation of potential violations hereof, (c) detect, prevent, or otherwise address fraud, security or technical issues (including, without limitation, the filtering of spam), (d) respond to user support requests, or (e) protect the rights, property or safety of Google, its users and the public. Google will not be responsible or liable for the exercise or non-exercise of its rights under this Agreement.

      5. Intellectual Property Rights. Google's Intellectual Property Rights. You acknowledge that Google owns all right, title and interest in and to the Service, including without limitation all intellectual property rights (the " Google Rights"), and such Google Rights are protected by U.S. and international intellectual property laws. Accordingly, you agree that you will not copy, reproduce, alter, modify, or create derivative works from the Service. You also agree that you will not use any robot, spider, other automated device, or manual process to monitor, or copy any content from the Service. The Google Rights include rights to (i) the Service developed and provided by Google; and (ii) all software associated with the Service. The Google Rights do not include third-party content used as part of Service, including the content of communications appearing on the Service.

            Your Intellectual Property Rights. Google does not claim any ownership in any of the content, including any text, data, information, images, photographs, music, sound, video, or other material, that you upload, transmit or store in your Gmail account. We will not use any of your content for any purpose except to provide you with the Service.

      6. Representations and Warranties. You represent and warrant that (a) all of the information provided by you to Google to participate in the Services is correct and current; and (b) you have all necessary right, power and authority to enter into this Agreement and to perform the acts required of you hereunder.

      7. Privacy. As a condition to using the Service, you agree to the terms of the Gmail Privacy Policy as it may be updated from time to time. Google understands that privacy is important to you. You do, however, agree that Google may monitor, edit or disclose your personal information, including the content of your emails, if required to do so in order to comply with any valid legal process or governmental request (such as a search warrant, subpoena, statute, or court order), or as otherwise provided in these Terms of Use and the Gmail Privacy Policy. Personal information collected by Google may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Google Inc. or its agents maintain facilities. By using Gmail, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country.

      8. Advertisements. As consideration for using the Service, you agree and understand that Google will display ads and other information adjacent to and related to the content of your email. Gmail serves relevant ads using a completely automated process that enables Google to effectively target dynamically changing content, such as email. No human will read the content of your email in order to target such advertisements or other information without your consent, and no email content or other personally identifiable information will be provided to advertisers as part of the Service.

      9. Account Inactivity. After a period of inactivity, Google reserves the right to disable or terminate a user's account. If an account has been deactivated for inactivity, the email address associated with that account may be given to another user without notice to you or such other party. For more information on how Google deals with account inactivity, please consult the Program Policies.

    10. Publicity. Any use of Google's trade names, trademarks, service marks, logos, domain names, and other distinctive brand features ("Brand Features") must be in compliance with this Agreement and in compliance with Google's then current Brand Feature use guidelines, and any content contained or reference therein, which may be found at the following URL: http://www.google.com/permissions/guidelines.html (or such other URL Google may provide from time to time).

    11. Termination; Cancellation. You may cancel your use of the Services and/or terminate this Agreement with or without cause at any time by providing notice to Google at http://www.google.com/accounts/ManageAccount; provided, however, that a terminated account may continue to exist for up to two business days before such cancellation takes effect. Google may at any time and for any reason terminate the Services, terminate this Agreement, or suspend or terminate your account. In the event of termination, your account will be disabled and you may not be granted access to your account or any files or other content contained in your account although residual copies of information may remain in our system. Except as set forth above or unless Google has previously canceled or terminated your use of the Services (in which case subsequent notice by Google shall not be required), if you have provided an alternate email address, Google will notify you via email of any such termination or cancellation, which shall be effective immediately upon Google's delivery of such notice. Sections 3, 4, 5, 7, and 11 - 13 of the Agreement, along with applicable provisions of the general Terms of Service (including the section regarding limitation of liability), shall survive expiration or termination.

    12. Indemnification. You agree to hold harmless and indemnify Google, and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, and employees from and against any third party claim arising from or in any way related to your use of the Service, including any liability or expense arising from all claims, losses, damages (actual and consequential), suits, judgments, litigation costs and attorneys' fees, of every kind and nature. In such a case, Google will provide you with written notice of such claim, suit or action.

    13. Choice of Law; Jurisdiction. These Terms of Use will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California, without giving effect to its conflict of laws provisions or your actual state or country of residence. Any claims, legal proceeding or litigation arising in connection with the Service will be brought solely in Santa Clara County, California, and you consent to the jurisdiction of such courts.

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whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

I don't agree with everything that Jerry Falwell says, but this letter struck a chord with me. I am passionately against partial birth abortion. I agree that a woman should have a right to abort within the first trimester (3 months) of pregnancy. After that, however, I fail to see the reasoning for late term abortion. It is unhuman, grisley, and is cold blooded murder in my books. That the law disagrees in the USA is mind blowing.

As Falwell says, more and more babies are being aborted because of simple defects like malformed feet, a cleft lip, etc. WTF? Talk about people being desensitized.

Do yourself a favour. If you don't yet know what partial birth abortion is, read up on it from the side opposed to it and I almost guarantee you will also be against it. Don't be fooled by proponent's using euphamisms to cover up the grusome nature of the procedure.

-----
Falwell Confidential

Date: June 4, 2004
From: Jerry Falwell

WE ARE LOSING GROUND IN THE ABORTION BATTLE

It is apparent that the culture of death is intensifying its
stranglehold on
the culture.

This week, a federal judge ruled that the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban
Act
(PABA), which was signed into law by President Bush last November, is
unconstitutional. President Bush's signing of this important law came
after
Congress overwhelmingly passed the legislation. But since its signing,
the
PABA has been the target of hysterical abortion-rights groups that want
absolutely no limitations on that disingenuous catchphrase - "a woman's
right to choose."

Furthermore, a British study has revealed that growing numbers of women
are
becoming so calloused in terms of abortion that they are choosing to
abort
their unborn children simply because they are discovered to have
medical
problems such as Down's syndrome, malformed feet, and even cleft
lips/palates. The culture of abortion has brought about a sense of
designer
fashion in terms of unborn babies; if the baby doesn't fit the parent's
desires, it is cast off like an out-of-style suit.

THE PABA

This week, Federal Judge Phyllis Hamilton predictably fell in line with
the
radical abortion-rights community when she ruled that the PABA
establishes
an "undue burden" on women seeking abortion. The Clinton appointee
said the
PABA is "unconstitutionally vague" because it does not include a health
exception for women seeking a partial-birth abortion. Her ruling
protects
for now 900 Planned Parenthood clinics which carry out such abortions.

Abortion-rights supporters want women to have the unregulated ability
to
determine that they need an abortion. A health exception in terms of
partial-birth abortion allows doctors to formulate any number of
trumped up
reasons to call for abortion for a patient wanting one. A so-called
health
exemption would essentially render powerless the partial-birth abortion
ban.

Following Judge Hamilton's PABA ruling, Wendy Wright, senior policy
director
for Concerned Women for America said the judge was "pre-disposed" to
such a
ruling. She also noted that the American Medical Association has said
this
especially barbaric type of abortion procedure is never medically
necessary.

She said, "Judge Hamilton did not allow key, relevant testimony such as
the
pain felt by unborn babies and records that would prove that
partial-birth
abortions are never medically necessary."

Roberta Combs, president of Christian Coalition, added that "judicial
tyranny" was responsible for the ruling. Identifying the leftist
agenda of
this judge, she highlighted the fact that Judge Hamilton "is the same
judge
who (last year) allowed a San Francisco-area school district to force
school
children into 'becoming Muslims' for two weeks as part of their world
history unit on Islam."

Radical judicial activists like Judge Hamilton are imposing their own
views
of America on the nation. It is apparent that their perspectives on
life
and liberty are far different than most Americans, and certainly poles
apart
from our Founders' beliefs.

Witnessing these types of irrational rulings makes clear the importance
of
electing a pro-life president who will place responsible judges on our
federal courts. I believe that a vote for a presidential candidate who
favors abortion rights is an outright betrayal of the unborn.

ABORTION AND THE DISABLED

According to 2002 statistics recently released by the Office for
National
Statistics in England and Wales, handicapped children in the womb are
facing
the increasing risk of abortion. The organization found that abortion
of
Down's syndrome babies elevated 17 percent, from 690 in 2002 over 591
in
2001. In fact, the study found that more Down's babies were actually
aborted in 2002 than those that were born with the disease.

Nuala Scarisbrick of the British pro-life group LIFE said these
increases in
abortion statistics are troubling, especially to people who are living
fulfilled lives despite their disabilities.

"The message is being sent out to disabled people that they should not
have
been born," Ms. Scarisbrick said in a statement published on The Drudge
Report.

Learning of this report caused me to recall the book "Another Season,"
by
renowned football coach Gene Stallings who recounted the unexpected
blessings that came into his life through the life of his son Johnny,
who
has Down's syndrome. In addition, as a minister of a large church, I
can
frankly report that I am aware of countless parents who say they would
not
change a thing about their children born with disabilities.

The permissive culture of death has made it acceptable to simply kill
off an
unborn baby that requires additional attention. What a tragically
selfish
perspective on life this is.

WHAT CAN BE DONE?

The most important thing that can be done is for pro-life Americans to
get
off of their couches and out of their church pews in order to become
proactive in terms of speaking out for the unborn.

Volunteer in a local home for unborn mothers, start a church-based
pro-life
organization, bring pro-life speakers into area schools, call your
lawmakers
to encourage them to vote for pro-life legislation. And most
importantly,
vote only for legislators and national leaders who revere life for the
unborn. Let's join together to take the momentum away from those who
have
contempt for the unborn!

---------------------------------------------------------------------
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New look of user page

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Eeek! I don't like the new look of the user page at all. Especially how the moderation and # of comments is displayed. Hope Taco changes it.

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Where does the time go... on /.

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

On the vein of New Years Resolutions, I've been thinking about how productive my time on Slashdot is. Is it a complete waste of time? I think not, and here's why.

For one thing, spending time here has taught me to be more patient with rude people. I am now a little better at handling frustrating situations where sometimes people are trying to 'get my goat', or sometimes that is just the way they talk.

Second, it keeps me up to date with what's happening in a relatively short period of time, assuming I don't let myself get sucked in to the discussions too much. I don't usually listen to the news on television because it's almost always the same sad shit, plus zillions of commercials and slanting the news and rehashing the same few details. Slashdot and Google news are my prime sources. I let word of mouth be my source of other major news pieces.

Third, writing discussion items helps me to think more about my position on issues. I know some people are going to jump on what I say if I can't back it up or there are holes in my logic, so I think it through some more. That has helped me be a bit more articulate.

Fourth and finally, writing is something people get better at with practice. This is a great outlet for me to write and keep up my vocabulary and expressiveness. The art of language is fascinating because it is the single best way for us to communicate our thoughts. Without it, what would we do? That's why, to me, it is very important to be able to get my point across as clearly as possible. I'm still working on it, and practice makes perfect as they say.

So, I guess you can see that I'll be here in 2004! The one thing I watch is letting trolls get the best of me and wasting my time, and I also watch not to hit "reload" too often on the front page. :) Happy New Years!

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Mod points

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Has anyone else noticed there seems to be a lack of mod points given out on Slashdot in the last 2, 3 weeks? Maybe they're tweaking the algorithm.

I think they should make the number of mod points given out a function of the number of messages posted on the system. It has never seemed that that is the way it is geared.

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ABC dot Com

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

Has anyone else ever created at login at ABC.com? I created one using a temp. account which had never received spams in probably a year, and all of a sudden I login and I have 18 spam emails! Be wary - good thing I didn't use one of my main accounts.

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The Truman Show

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

"The Truman Show" movie was basically about a guy who lived his entire life inside a virtual world where everyone was an actor and he was on television 24x7.

Imagine someone similar: an life guided by the decisions of "open source developers". That is, they make the decisions collectively, and the person executes those decisions. If it could be done, what kind of effects would you see? Would the decisions evolved into better decisions and make a better person out of the one executing the decisions? The "developers" would have to get a grasp of what the person is good at, and what talents need to be honed; what's necessary to be successful; long and short term goals; happiness; and so on.
What do you think?

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Time

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 10 years ago

One of my comments regarding what Time is that I think is interesting: :)

If we are just being "timesliced," then an outside observer could exist in the same time dimension, but that's a very strange and specific case, and it doesn't really address how time works anyway. (because you haven't examined the underlying time dimension at all.)

There is no time dimension: time is our perception of change. Our most accurate clocks are based on the rate of decay of an atom, or the rate of spin of an electron. A wind-up clock simply runs at a speed that we have determined will keep a reasonable account of time relative to other clocks. Time does not really exist - but it is useful for us to think of "time".

What does exist is change caused by the operation of our universe. Those outside our system could measure the number of cycles our universe has run for. It's a simple quantity.

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Television Thieves

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 11 years ago

The television stations complain that people who use commercial skip technology are thieves.

I disagree, but I'm not going to argue that point right now. I have a middle ground solution.

Why not employ technology that only skips a commercial if it is not the first time that commercial has been on? That way the viewer gets to see each unique commercial once (which should please the station), but doesn't have to grin and bear it through subsequent showings of the same commercial (which should please the viewer).

Technically, I don't think it would be that hard to do.

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Program efficiency vs. Programmer efficiency

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 11 years ago

I've been thinking about how programmer time is more valuable than machine time and storage space for awhile now - since machines are so fast today with abundant storage space. In an article by Paul Graham, this paragraph sums it up pretty well:

http://www.paulgraham.com/hundred.html

"What programmers in a hundred years will be looking for, most of all, is a language where you can throw together an unbelievably inefficient version 1 of a program with the least possible effort. At least, that's how we'd describe it in present-day terms. What they'll say is that they want a language that's easy to program in.

Inefficient software isn't gross. What's gross is a language that makes programmers do needless work. Wasting programmer time is the true inefficiency, not wasting machine time. This will become ever more clear as computers get faster."

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Should the UN Route have been Abandoned?

whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Should the resolution have been abandoned? Has diplomacy now taken a back seat to military action? What is your reaction to the ever increasing threat of war?

Please see the BBC news website to make your comments heard.

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whereiswaldo whereiswaldo writes  |  more than 11 years ago Someone forwarded me this great email. For everyone who is tired of not doing things because someone "might be offended".

Subject: Thoughts:

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December. I don't agree with Darwin but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution. Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game. So what's the big deal? It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.

"But it's a Christian prayer," some will argue. Yes, and this is the United States of America, a country founded on Christian principles. And we are in the Bible Belt. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1. So what would you expect -- somebody chanting Hare Krishna? If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.

If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad, I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer. If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha. And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome...

"But what about the atheists?" is another argument. What about them? Nobody is asking them to be baptized. We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humor us for 30 seconds. If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs. Go to the bathroom. Visit the concession stand. Call your lawyer. Unfortunately, one or two will make that call. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short pray! er at a football game is going to shake the world's founda tions.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us just to pray without ceasing. Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying. God, help us. And if that last sentence offends you, well..........just sue me. The silent majority has been silent too long... it's time we let that one or two who scream loud enough to be heard, that the vast majority don't care what they want... it is time the majority rules!

It's time we tell them, you don't have to pray.. you don't have to say the pledge of allegiance, you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honor Him. That is your right, and we will honor your right... but by! golly you are no longer going to take our rights away... we are fighting back... and we WILL WIN! After all the God you have the right to denounce is on our side!

God bless us one and all, especially those who denounce Him... God bless America, despite all her faults.. still the greatest nation of all.....

God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God...

May 2003 be the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions. Keep looking up...... In God WE Trust

If you agree with this, please pass it on. If not, delete it!!

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