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Social Media a Threat To Undercover Cops

zx75 Re:Here's an idea. (252 comments)

So, you've completely skipped over the obvious point and made an unfounded supposition.

The Amish are Mennonite which one of the founding tenants is non-resistance. It's like pacifism, except less militant. These days the tenants of mennonism are bent and broken six ways to sunday, but the Amish as a sect are extremely devout and are more likely to hold to them than modern mainstream Mennonites.

As a general rule Mennonites will not own, touch, or allow weaponry into their home that has no legitimate peaceful purpose. Some own rifles specifically for hunting, but in general guns are a big no-no. Mennonites historically refuse to serve as police, in the military, or in ther government as they will take no role where they may as a matter of course cause someone to come to harm, or be responsible for others who would cause someone to come to harm. (Government is responsible for both military and police forces).

A recruitment drive for undercover officers in an Amish community is beyond absurd and would involve the recruiters being forcibly removed from the premisis (figuratively).

Caveat: I am a modern mainstream Mennonite, and we have none of the taboos against technology and serving in police, security, and government is accepted these days. But I for one hold strongly to our roots of non-resistance and reject anything that may put me in contact with violence (or the possibility of it) or weaponry.

more than 3 years ago

Hunters Shot Down Google Fiber

zx75 Re:They're called *VANDALS* not hunters (1141 comments)

Nothing in your comment contradicts the parent poster's assertion that they are engaging in Vandalism. Willful defacement and destruction of property whether done through boredom or target practice is still vandalism.

more than 4 years ago

How Big Is Your Primary Display?

zx75 Projector (375 comments)

Screen is about 8 feet diagonally, takes up most of the wall. Resolution isn't great though...

more than 4 years ago

How Old Is the Oldest Computer You Regularly Use?

zx75 Curse you imprecise intervals! (543 comments)

I chose 6-10 because I still regularly use a computer that I built in the summer of 2000, just prior to attending university. Give it a couple months and it will be in the 10-15 category.

It's had some parts changed out in the meantime (video card, extra memory, case, extra harddrive, new CD drive) but the guts are still the same that I put together way back when, an Athlon XP 800 processor with slot mount causing the heatsink to dangle precariously over my video card.

Despite being moved ~18 times over its lifetime (I've lived in a lot of places), one of the CPU/heatsink supports breaking, and once completely coming loose and smacking around the interior of my case while dangling by its heatsink fan connection... it still works!

It now does its part as a database server for my website, and its used on a daily basis.

more than 4 years ago

Oracle Wants Proof That Open Source Is Profitable

zx75 Re:Why write something people give away for free? (393 comments)

Umm, if I am a customer buying a software product I do not care if the code is good quality, or cleverly engineered, as long as it doesn't impact the cost, security, or usability of the product.

All I care about is whether or not it works and meets my needs.

I am saying this as a consumer (end user), producer (developer), and requirements creator (analyst).

more than 4 years ago

Bill To Ban All Salt In Restaurant Cooking

zx75 Re:Go go Nanny State... (794 comments)

Not really. If you take a careful look at most drug laws all the way back to prohibition they explicitly outlaw the sale and possession of certain substances, not the consumption. It effectively produces the same result, but avoids the thorny legal issue around legislation of what you can do to yourself.

more than 4 years ago

Tour de France Champion Accused of Hacking

zx75 Re:Landis grew up a Mennonite (259 comments)

Please readjust your thinking about Mennonites... you are so very wrong that you almost circle completely back again.

I will state for a fact that I am Mennonite. I got my first computer when I was 6 (1988) and I am currently employed as a software developer.

Although the Amish and the Old Order are Mennonites (which are among the few sects that have community restrictions on technology) the reverse is not true. It is equivalent to me saying that you are Christian, sometimes mistaken as Mormon. I'm not saying it's impossible for you to be monagamous, but I'm sure you were raised in a polygamous cult.

I will further add to my comment in saying that I do know some Old Order and Amish people, and have had a nice long conversation with an Old Order deacon and teacher who explained that it is not technology that they shun, but anything new that may split their community. They take a very long time to evaluate new techology (usually about 300 years or so) but they do use some modern equipment. The Old Order community that I was on used modern combines (computer controlled) in order to quickly and efficiently harvest their fields.

more than 4 years ago

Analysis of 32 Million Breached Passwords

zx75 Re:Password strength vs. how often you change it (499 comments)

I need to change my company password every month, but the password strength for my company account remains strong.

My password strength for a website forum where I never need to change it however, is usually weak.

The password strength I use is highly correlated with the sensitivity of the information it allows access to and the importance of the systems.

I would fall into the 96% of people who don't use non-alphanumerics for "Rockyou.com"

about 5 years ago

Myths About Code Comments

zx75 Re:One person's myth is another person's fact. (580 comments)

Yes, I've done that more than a few times myself. Under pressure of a deadline, and the code just needs to work is a situation I have found myself in more times than I would like. But given the nature of my job, it is entirely possible that the code gets done, and then not looked at again for years. Just recently a client came to us for enhancements to a codebase that hadn't been touched in close to 5 years, and there are a few spots that are 'make it work' instead of 'clean and pretty'.

In this situation I will often flag the section of code with a "TODO" and write a brief explanation regarding how the code SHOULD be structured such as: //TODO: Future Rev. restructure by abstracting common elements from X, Y, and Z and merge object creation into a factory.

This serves very well as a 'this is a hack' flag to me but also reminds me why it was a hack and what I was thinking on how to improve it.

about 5 years ago

Yale Researchers Find New RNA Structures

zx75 Re:Curious choice of analogies (90 comments)

It's like finding a whole new wing of the Library of Congress.


more than 5 years ago

My resting pulse, as of today, is ...

zx75 Re:second = heartbeat (329 comments)

For Galileo to determine this it doesn't matter what his pulse actually was. It could have been 137, but as long as it was consistent between measurements then he could come to this conclusion.

more than 5 years ago

AU Senator Calls Scientology a "Criminal Organization"

zx75 Re:Hmm (511 comments)

There are religions that don't accept members (through baptism) until they reach adulthood. They are called Anabaptists (many sects began during the Reformation because they believed that Martin Luther didn't address all their grievances with the Catholic Church).

One of the more widespread of the Anabaptist sects are the Mennonites (of which I am one). I was baptized at the age of 26, because prior to then I didn't have a reason or desire to attend church. But, things happen, and I found a reason and a need in my life to be part of the church. It hasn't changed my belief structure (I still am agnostic/athiest) but that does not preclude the need for the belonging and philosophy of church. I may not believe there is a god, but a small hope that it might be true can give strength in trying times.

more than 5 years ago

Surfacescapes D&D Demo

zx75 Re:Cool tech, but... (162 comments)

I use a (homemade) grid mat, erasable markers, and little colored stone gems that I got at the dollar store that I wrote numbers and symbols on with a paint pen.

The only reason I started using this setup was that my players preferred it because it gave them a better ability to visualize a combat area and *gasp* speed up combat! They no longer had to ask me about positioning, if they could do one thing or another, they could see it and decide for themselves. Made combat quicker because everyone was now prepared when their turn came.

I would love to have the surface to facilitate the kind of game I already run, so that I don't have to:
- Remember my 'stone' miniatures
- Remember to bring paper-towel and a spray bottle
- Remember to bring markers
- Easily create creatures that are bigger than a single space (its a pain moving a 3x3 grid size monster across the board that uses 9 stones).

more than 5 years ago

At What Temperature (F) Do You Prefer Your Nerd Cave?

zx75 Re:Fahrenheit: It's for telling temperature (1233 comments)

Perhaps, but here in Winnipeg the winter is very dry, so I stand by my statement. But thank you for proving my point that a 0 to 100 degree scale doesn't work for subjective values of "Cold" and "Hot".

more than 5 years ago

At What Temperature (F) Do You Prefer Your Nerd Cave?

zx75 Re:Fahrenheit: It's for telling temperature (1233 comments)

100 is pretty hot, and 0 is pretty cold

Well, only if you live in the US mid-west. I'm used to 25C (77F) being quite warm and 30C (86F) is hot. I agree that -20C (-4F) is pretty cool, but it's not really cold until it passes -30C (-22F).

It is all fine and dandy to have a scale that 'makes sense for people', but when 'people' are a small sub-set who live in a particular climate then it really doesn't make sense for those of us who are used to different temperature ranges. Consistency and comprehension are more important, and it doesn't take very long to convert and begin understanding a new system.

In terms of smaller degrees, in Fahrenheit they are terribly useless and confusing. When determining what kind of day it is going to be and how I should dress I only care about 5 degree increments... in C, which is almost 10 degree increments in F. I really don't care if it is 14C or 17C both are 'close to 15C', much like it is of no importance whether it is 77F or 82F, it is simply 'close to 80F'.

Give me a consistent, useful measuring system that allows me to:
1) quickly translate numeric values into 'how it feels'
2) communicate temperature effectively with those around me
3) easily judge relative temperatures between different contexts (how hot is it if I set my oven to 60C? Not hot enough to boil, but more than enough to keep my food warm until I finish cooking)

more than 5 years ago

French Deputies Moving Against Photoshopped Ads

zx75 Re:This ad paid for by... (512 comments)

No, his objections are completely valid. With digital photography nearly every professional photograph is airbrushed with the exception of news agencies. Portrait photos that are taken at a studio that you pay for are airbrushed, advertisements, marketing material, you name it.

My sister does this for a living and has worked at several photography studios, everything gets airbrushed from reducing/eliminating blemishes to changing the color of clothing. Unless an agency has some particular expectation of photographic accuracy (either documentation or news purposes) then there are always 'flaws' in an image that either weren't noticed at the time it was taken, or couldn't be controlled by the photographer. This happened before digital photography in the darkroom or through airbrushing, but it is vastly easier to do digitally.

more than 5 years ago

Children's Watch Allows Parents To Track Their Kid

zx75 Re:We never needed them before (607 comments)

We were perfectly capable of using motorized or animal transportation without seat belts for millennia... IMHO with a little care and good control these devices are completely unnecessary.

It's not that I don't agree with your point, but I don't agree with the argument that you've made. Just because we've gone without something for a long time, and care will mostly mitigate circumstances that would result in an unfavourable result, this does not mean the device is unnecessary or useless.

Now I don't think I should need such a device with my daughter, but I can easily imagine plausible circumstances in which an urgent matter arises and such a device would be handy to have available if only to give me peace of mind. Because you are not going to be able to watch your children 24hours a day forever... it's part of growing up. And maybe instead of following them to school the first time that they walk "alone", I will make sure my daughter arrives safely by checking my iPhone from my living room.

more than 5 years ago

Favorite seasonal transition?

zx75 Winnipeg MB - Canada (451 comments)

Cue the jokes, but my favourite season is Summer --> Winter because the mosquitoes disappear and stay gone for at least 7 months.

Really though, we have quite short spring/autumn seasons. The transition from Winter to Summer and back again happen quite quickly and often unexpectedly. This year we had a terrible summer 3C below normal right through august but now that we are in mid-september it is 25C-28C outside and we're having the best weather of the summer. We have also been known to get snow this time of year and sometimes have summer-like temperatures in mid-April.

To give an idea of the quick transitions, late-September (we often have Indian summers) and October the trees turn and temperatures rapidly plummet from 20 above to freezing and by the end of October we start getting snow, a span of about 6 weeks. This year with summer lingering I don't expect autumn to arrive until October and last about 4 weeks. In spring temperatures usually start rising above freezing in April and by the end of May we are hitting summer-like highs, again a span of about 6 weeks.

That leaves a good 5 1/2 months of solid winter season, 3 1/2 months of summer, and about 1 1/2 months of each spring and autumn.

more than 5 years ago



How Long Will You Tolerate Loading A Webpage?

zx75 zx75 writes  |  about 9 months ago

zx75 (304335) writes "The internet is continuously changing and people's expectations of what they are getting and how fast it is delivered keeps changing as well. However, industry performance guidelines for webpage load times are often static or based off flawed methodology.

I am writing a paper on how to obtain quality webpage performance requirements and want to know how do you gather performance requirements from your target audience? You can also help me by answering a very short 4-question survey about what your 'magic number' webpage load time is."

Link to Original Source

zx75 zx75 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

zx75 writes "Postal 2 and Super Columbine Massacre RPG are being highlighted as being partly to blame for the shooting rampage by Kimveer Gill on a Montreal campus that killed 1 and injured 19.
"Kimveer Gill loved video games, particularly those that involved gun-related violence.
One game Gill mentioned often in his Internet blog was Postal 2, a game heavily criticized by family groups for intentionally displaying high levels of violence and racial stereotyping."


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