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California In the Running For Tesla Gigafactory

yog Why California? (172 comments)

I'm surprised California would even be in the running. Land is expensive, taxes are high, and cost of living is among the highest in the country.

By contrast, Arizona and Nevada have cheap land, low taxes, and low cost of living plus low labor costs.

California's main asset is its technology population, plus access to sea ports.

Should be interesting to see who wins. I would have thought that Mr. Musk would prefer to place his plant in a low cost region like Malaysia or south China, but I guess there are logistical and political reasons to keep it in the home country.

about 3 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

yog Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

Eich (and a majority of the voters in California) advocated defining marriage in the California constitution as a union between a man and woman. This would prevent same sex marriages from having the same legal standing as trad marriages, at least with regard to hospital visitation rights, next of kin status, and taxation. Neither Eich, nor the majority of people who voted yes, said anything about opposing the gay lifestyle or seeking to limit the human rights of gay people, discrimination in the work place, etc. Eich has stated that he opposes such discrimination, but obviously that wasn't sufficient for the thought police.

The fact is, if someone like Eich can be forced to resign, then anyone is vulnerable. Some dirt digger can find something on you or me, expose it to the world virally, and you or I would be out of a job and branded for life. Be careful what you wish for.

about 7 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

yog Re:Gays must stop using JS (1746 comments)

Well, any person, gay or not, who agreed that Eich should quit. Lots of gay people are not OK with how he was treated.

about 7 months ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

yog Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

I am a lesbian and I still think hounding Eich for standing for Prop. 8 and threatening to boycott a cornerstone of the internet and internet development if he was CEO of the Mozilla foundation is complete and utter intolerant bullshit. I am very disappointed with people doing such things and disappointed he caved to such.

I agree with Samantha. They hounded a good man out of their organization and now the entire community suffers, not just from the loss of his knowledge and experience but also the loss of moral high ground. This had nothing to do with gay rights. No one is against gay rights. This is about political correctness.

I'm not likely to donate any money or time to Mozilla in the future. Lots of luck to them; they're going to need it.

about 7 months ago
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Redesigned Seats Let Airlines Squeeze In More Passengers

yog Re:Standing room only (466 comments)

Actually, a private tube similar to the Tokyo tube hotels would be awesome. Crawl in, close the door, and sleep or read for the entire flight. I'd take a "coffin" any day over the crappy seats they offer which are getting worse every day.

1 year,6 days
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Florida Teen Expelled and Arrested For Science Experiment

yog Every boy used to do this (1078 comments)

When I was in school, it was basically a full time job for many of us boys to figure out ways to make ever larger and more dramatic explosions happen. We used to fill trash bags full of methane from the lab, seal them with tape, then release them with a lit fuse and watch this huge fireball in the sky (I stopped before the principal took notice, so I didn't get caught:). I mean, kids just do stuff like that.

The difference today is the zero-tolerance rules in many public schools where even a little 6-year-old boy making a shape of a gun with his hand and going "bang!" at another kid is grounds for suspension.

As usual, bureaucracy gets it wrong. That girl should be reinstated and an apology should be issued, otherwise she'll be barred for life from many professions (albeit, as a minor theoretically her record is sealed, but in reality she's screwed).

And racism? That was just an extra little tidbit the OP added to spice things up. Ridiculous.

about a year and a half ago
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Review: Make: Raspberry Pi Starter Kit

yog Re:It's a pretty neat little gadget (74 comments)

It works on my desktop running OpenSuse. I went ahead and ordered an EMU XMIDI adapter from Amazon for $40. The cheap adapters seem to get overwhelmed very easily especially when sustain is on.

about a year and a half ago
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Review: Make: Raspberry Pi Starter Kit

yog It's a pretty neat little gadget (74 comments)

I got one about a month ago from Newark. I got a ($12) case too, and that came much sooner; the Pi took about two weeks to arrive.
Setting it up was pretty straightforward. I installed the Raspbian image to an 8gb Sd card (about $7 from Amazon), plugged the Pi directly into my router, and powered it up using one of my various microUSB chargers I have lying around.

Then I was able to get in easily using ssh. I updated the OS, added a few utilities, and started vncserver. From that point, I could access the graphical UI from a window on my Suse desktop. SSH is faster, however; the board isn't that fast.

I plugged in a spare bluetooth dongle that was not recognized by my Suse desktop, but the Pi recognized it properly and could see other bluetooth devices around the house. Neat!

I then plugged in a USB wireless dongle that I had lying around, and it came right up. Now it's completely portable around the house, no longer tied to the router. I attached a cheap webcam I had gotten a while back on ebay, and I installed motion, as per a nice how-to, and immediately the Pi became a surveillance system.

I was going to set it up in front of the house, but then I got the idea I wanted to interface it to my electronic piano in the living room. I got a $6.75 MIDI-to-USB cable and attached the Pi to the piano. Previously I had an identical cable working nicely with a midi keyboard and my Suse desktop. This one did not seem to register as a midi device; I'm going to have to find a driver, or else write some software of my own. My goal is to have a tablet-controlled midi sequencer, so that I can record midi to the Pi and play it back through the piano. A bigger project than I've had time for up to now, but I hope to get to it soon.

It's a fun little board and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys hacking around with Linux and automating things around the house. There's probably fifty other uses for it that I haven't thought of yet.

about a year and a half ago
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State Rep. Says Biking Is Not Earth Friendly Because Breathing Produces CO2

yog Re:Cars produce more (976 comments)

can't edit, dammit. You are correct that eliminating CO from the atmosphere will *probably* not affect our health negatively; but I'm not sure even about that.

about a year and a half ago
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State Rep. Says Biking Is Not Earth Friendly Because Breathing Produces CO2

yog Re:Cars produce more (976 comments)

That's true... but the CO your cells manufacture has a very different pathway.

about a year and a half ago
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State Rep. Says Biking Is Not Earth Friendly Because Breathing Produces CO2

yog Re:Cars produce more (976 comments)

Perhaps you're right; I haven't read his other comments;

Now, with regard to carbon monoxide, I was joking, myself. In fact, CO is thought to play a role in biochemical pathways, as a neurotransmitter and as an immune response. We'd be dead without it. But, I guess most people don't know that :)

about a year and a half ago
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State Rep. Says Biking Is Not Earth Friendly Because Breathing Produces CO2

yog Re:Cars produce more (976 comments)

I'm fairly sure that crazy jj was joking.

Me, I'm in favor of eliminating all the CO from the atmosphere. It's just nasty.

about a year and a half ago
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Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy

yog Re:Goal: A whole company of Mayers? (524 comments)

A seagull manager: someone who flies in, shits over everything, and leaves.

I wonder if Mayer will end up being one of these.

about a year and a half ago
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Mayer Terminates Yahoo's Remote Employee Policy

yog Re:bullet in the head (524 comments)

Your point is taken, but it might be better worded: "After years of watching Yahoo twitching on the gurney, Mayer is finally putting a bullet in their head."
Otherwise, it sounds as though Mayer is the one doing the twitching on the gurney. Which I suppose she was, back in October when she was delivering her baby boy. Could have been done on a gurney.

about a year and a half ago
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Wirelessly Charged Buses Being Tested Next Year

yog Re:Why not popular? (245 comments)

Are you figuring in the $16,000 to $18,000 cost of an economy sedan?

Or the $24,000 for an SUV or more option-laden vehicle that many opt for (on monthly payments)?

Even if you're paying $100 for a public transport monthly pass, it would take around 15 years to make up for purchasing a vehicle, and that's not even counting fuel, insurance, and maintenance costs. Then there's the risk to life and limb that is much lower for bus/train riders.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Inexpensive SOHO Crime Deterrence and Monitoring?

yog Re:How was it broken into again? (272 comments)

What if they're wearing ski masks or stockings over their faces? So much for high def cameras.

The question in my mind is, what is motivating these crooks to break into this office? If it's such a lean, barebones kind of operation, I wonder what it is that makes thieves think, this room must have valuable stuff that is worth the risk?

Maybe they should move their office to a safer neighborhood. Or, remove all the bars and obvious theft-deterrence stuff (keep the hidden cams and alarms, if they're already in place) and take the hard disks home at night. Lock down the gear such as monitors and CPUs with cables strong enough to satisfy the insurance company, don't keep a box of petty cash, empty the filing cabinet and make the company files virtual, and leave it at that.

Or maybe let your friend's Rottweiler sleep in the office every night for a few months. The gang that's working that neighborhood will get the message and stay away.

about a year and a half ago
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Layoffs Hit Washington Post Mobile Team

yog Re:maybe they read xkcd (108 comments)

Actually that's pretty spot-on. I hate how every news organization today has to have its own downloadable app. "Welcome to the South Butt-hole Sentinel! Click OK to download our app! Or [typesize=0.001]click here to continue to site."

I don't want to have a whole menagerie of single-site news apps of varying quality and usability. Aggregator apps such as Currents and Flipboard are a step in the right direction, but they leave me cold as well; they're weird, they pick and choose articles they think I want to see (usually off the mark) and a lot of the periodical's value is lost in translation. Among other things, the talkbacks are stripped out and these days, I find the talkbacks more entertaining and, sometimes more informative, than the original article.

about a year and a half ago
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Prosecution of Swartz Typical for the "Sick Culture" Pervading the DOJ

yog Re:what (443 comments)

"nowadays"? How old are you? This has always been the way of the world. Ideals and outliers aside, journalism is not about telling the complete truth and nothing but the truth. It's about making a name for oneself, influencing decisionmakers, having power over people.

As for "justice", this too has always been an arbitrary, agenda-driven kind of goal. This poor, depressed kid was obviously victimized by an abusive DOJ prosecutor trying to make a name for herself. His conviction would not have brought any kind of justice. All he did was unlock something that millions of college students and professors and affiliated academics already have full access to. Thirty-five years! This Ortiz is the one who should go to prison.

about a year and a half ago
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Google's Schmidt: Patent Wars Harm Startups

yog Re:Funny (82 comments)

Patents are definitely a big problem for start-ups. When you are big enough to have a Legal Department with an Intellectual Property specialist or three, you can maybe deal with all the patent trolls out there not to mention the few legitimate patents that may challenge your product.

But for the rest of us, it's an almost insurmountable challenge. Once when I was trying to develop a voicemail contraction (yeah this was sort of pre-cell phone and pre-Google Voice and all that nice stuff we have today) for small offices, I was astounded by the kinds of patents out there. Some guy patented a "method to push a button to record a voice". Someone else patented a "method to store voice recordings in digital format in computer memory". Was I as a one person start-up going to have to find a way around ridiculously obvious patents like this?

So if someone big comes along and offers you a million or two for your baby company, it's going to be awfully tempting. Then again, as I recall, Microsoft offered the Netscape guys about $20 million for their browser back in the early Web days. They politely declined and went on to be worth hundreds of millions. It's a tough call to make, but you do have to be a bit of a gambler if you want to really make it big.

about 2 years ago
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With NCLB Waiver, Virginia Sorts Kids' Scores By Race

yog Elizabeth Warren had the right idea. (622 comments)

She registered herself as a minority, which under Virginia's system would guarantee that her children got special treatment on "standardized" tests. Although, what kind of minority are Cherokee? Would they be filed under disadvantaged, or under superior? Given their genetic similarity and shared ancestry with Asians (probably Mongolians and central Asians, but in S. America more aboriginal Asians from Indonesia and Malaysia) they would be classified as superior, hence their scores would be curved down.

It boggles the mind. Virginia must be run by true idiots, to think they could get away with this.

about 2 years ago

Submissions

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Singer in grocery store ordered to pay royalties

yog yog writes  |  about 5 years ago

yog (19073) writes "An assistant at a grocery store in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, was ordered by the Performing Right Society (PRS) to obtain a performer's license and to pay royalties because she was informally singing popular songs while stocking groceries. The PRS later backed down and apologized. This after the same store had turned off the radio after a warning from the PRS. We have entered an era where music is no longer an art for all to enjoy, but rather a form of private property that must be regulated and taxed like alcohol. "Music to the ears" has become "dollars in the bank"."
Link to Original Source
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Free viagra - could it mean the end of spam?

yog yog writes  |  more than 5 years ago

yog (19073) writes "Pfizer is offering free viagra and other drugs to the unemployed. Could this be an underhanded way to eliminate spam? Why would that 0.001% of the population click on another v1agra "rock hard all night" type of spam email, when they can obtain these coveted substances for free? I think Pfizer has unwittingly stumbled on a definitive solution to the spam problem, currently said to account for 94% of all email traffic. Maybe if this works, they could try legalizing cocaine and marijuana. The mind boggles at the possibilities."

Journals

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Flamebait and Politics

yog yog writes  |  more than 5 years ago

I've noticed that quite often when I make a comment on a political topic such as the presidential elections, Islamic terrorism, and the Iraq war, it tends to get moderated as "flamebait". Now, I am not interested in starting flame wars, as anyone who reads my comment history will note.

Yet, on political subjects, if I express something the least bit opinionated beyond merely quoting the "facts", several moderators will step in and hit the comment with "overrated", "flamebait", or "troll".

There are in fact very few true flamebait postings on this forum, though lots of deliberate trolls. But someone commenting on a topic, no matter how opinionated they are, should not be modded down unless they are disrupting the conversation in some way. When I have mod points, the first thing I do is search for "flamebait" in a forum and, if appropriate, I will re-mod it to something more applicable.

I'll fight and die for your right to disagree with me.

It's too bad that not everyone sees it this way, and it's a damn shame that the metamoderation system, which is supposed to prevent this kind of incompetent use of mod points, does not work, apparently.

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More Metamoderation needed

yog yog writes  |  more than 8 years ago

In recent years I have noticed that comments which have the slightest political overtones, especially those that support the Republican government, get moderated down as "troll", "flamebait", or "overrated". Once a comment has a zero rating, most readers will not see it because the default settings skip over zero and -1 comments.

This is a form of mob rule and censorship that is inappropriate for a public forum. I know of no other internet forums that allow anyone to effectively censor my comments. A real moderator who is fair and dedicated to preserving quality discourse is much preferable to the haphazard system which Slashdot has become.

I have also noticed that informative comments are sometimes attacked by ignorant moderators who either failed to understand what the poster said or mistakenly thought it was a duplication of another post.

Clearly, people given moderator privileges are using them to attack those with whom they disagree rather than to improve the dialogue. I have started metamoderating religiously and I will moderate as unfair most attempts to censor legitimate comments. Unfortunately, an army of one is a bit outnumbered in this war.

I think it's time for Slashdot to move to a better system; it was an interesting idea nine years ago when online discussion forums were just getting rolling, but today Slashdot seems clunky and dated, its moderation system strange and ineffective. You can't post and moderate in the same topic, which today seems like a pointless limitation given the tremendous abuse of the moderation system.

Comments are welcome!

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