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Quickies

A Metric Ton of Quickies 186

Step right up ladies and gentlemen and behold, quickies so amazing, that you may not want to stare directly at them. First up, a trio of Microsoft bits: Ethan sent us an RFC for writing RFCs in Word. Russ pointed us to a great entry contained within the microsoft knowledge base. and an anonymous reader noted that boardwatch is selling BillGatus of Borg posters again. You may need a soundtrack for this one: chisox sent a bit about Jem Finer composing a thousand year song (and a machine to play it). If generative music ain't your thing, Jason noted that MC (Stephen) Hawking has made some of his R&B and Rap cuts available in MP3 format. And while it isn't exactly music, Several folks showed us the way to best learn about Semi Conductors: have Britney Spears teach it. wishus's submission is much less educational: he's kissing up to me by telling us that Sarcasta's latest update is in depth study on Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. If you need some images to enlighten and amuse, B.D.Mills noted that stinky meat is back if you didn't get enough the first time, Ant sent us the correct use for the new mac cubes, and danfairs sent us a picture of... well, a fire extinguisher. table and chair pointed us to Political Arena, a Quake 3 modwhere you blow up the political candidates (is this treason once one of them gets elected?) If blowing up Bush isn't enough stress reduction for you, einstein has shown us how best to customize your case and void your warrenty in one swing. Of an axe. Kartoffel wrote a CueCat interface for BeOS as well as a Mr T vs. CueCat Comic Strip. Even more offensive then another Mr T vs. episode is a comic featuring Admiral Ackbar debating Napster sent in by georgeha. Last of all, if you didn't know, Spinal Tap is back out in limited release. God what a great flick. Just figured I'd mention it ...
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A Metric Ton of Quickies

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  • Only in Microsoft-land would a blender hang!

    Is that a new network appliance? Does it run CE? ;>

  • That's cuz "economic liberty" is aka fiscal conservatism- IOW, if you look at the (silly, simplistic and wrong, but somewhat appropriate here) idea of "left" and "right", a Libertarian is more on the left in terms of social issues, but more on the right in terms of economic issues. Bush and Gore are centrists almost to the point where the differences are blurred (but not totally, and there are important differences!), so I'd expect a Lib to vote either way, if not for the Lib. party candidate.

    For the record, IA(O)NAL (I am (obvioiusly) not a libertarian).

    BTW, I love it when people call me a "dangerous liberal," please fire away =)
  • M$ is not offically doing this.

    It is just some stupid "programmer."
  • by Phexro (9814) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:24PM (#786883)
    what, and emacs isn't overkill? ;)
    --
  • My home page is theoretically available to six billion people.

    Are you saying that each and every person with a web site has to take care to not offend anyone or, god forbid, center on the area in which they live?

    You, sir, are an idiot.
  • After reading far too many replies arguing about the metric vs standard system and quoting obscure and often irrelevant documents about the origins and specifics of these "standards" I just have one thing to say.

    You guys are going to have sooo much egg on your face the next time Q takes it into his head to change the gravitational constant of the universe.

    Steven
  • Whoops, meant spans per week squared.

    -- Sig (120 chars) --
    Your friendly neighborhood mIRC scripter.
  • So when did we all decide that the government had to parent children? Since when did parents lose the responsibility to parent their own children?

    You hit the nail on the head in saying that it is the parents responsibility to raise their children. That means if they want to control what their children buy/watch/play/hear, they can pay attention to what their children are doing, and not depend on government regulation to watch them.
  • Long format music is an interesting area to be experimental in :) this thousand year generative music is orders of magnitude beyond anything I'd thought of. I got the idea from Pat Cadigan novels- in 'Mindplayers' there is a composing team named Coor and Lam who write very long duration pieces- such as the 24 hour long 'Full Day' and one named 'Transcontinental Elopement' that goes for weeks! The conceit of this has always appealed to me :)

    There isn't any medium in common use today that would run for weeks (excepting generative stuff or some uses of MOD-type music), but there is one possibility I'd love to play with someday- streaming live music through mp3 to a CD writer. Using a basic data rate like the (borderline decent) 128K, a CD will hold over 10 hours of music- but to get really serious you have to use a DVD format, which could theoretically run for over six days! None of this would be generative at all- it would just be a hell of a long audio stream :) to record such music would take over 200 adat tapes, so the only sensible way to do the six day composition would be as one long live improvisation with teams of musicians stepping in and taking over for each other. Strings, drumheads and such things would have to be swapped out- or the whole thing could be synth-driven, avoiding the problems of physical instruments being played for six days nonstop :)

    If you're willing to do generative music it's even simpler- write mod software that makes music out of raw data, give it a lot of instruments to play with and then give it 600 megs or so of data to play with, and run the program. It wouldn't be hard to make that go for 1000 years, in theory anyway ;)

    The neat thing about this quickie-report is the effort and attention to making a musical thing that could literally go for a thousand years. That moves into the areas of engineering art as well as experimental music. Part of the 'music' is not just the (possibly limited) tunes it plays but knowing that the song is continuing, will still be unfolding past the lives of your grandchildren. It's like conceptual art- I hope this project follows through. I'd like to hear a bit of the music it makes :)

  • 1000 kilos, or 1.1025 regular tons, or 2.205 pounds.
  • Why do metric proponents claim a god like perfection and logical intuitiveness to their system?

    The meter is defined one ten millionth (1/10000000) of the distance from the north pole to the equator through Paris. Why that's just so fucking intuitive and precise. Even if God is leading your surveying team. If I so much as take a piss on the ground along tha line, the distance changes, to say nothing of quakes and rain and wind erosion.

    Now I'm sure the metric heads will jump up to correct my "error" and say the meter is x wavelengths of some krypton emission wavelength light. Well, the foot can be define by that same emission today too. So metric is not better for that.

    Move on to the kilogram. What is the supreme, absolute reference standard for the metric unit of mass, the kilogram (shouldn't the base unit not have a "kilo" prefix?)? It's still a chunk of metal in a French vault. The same level of precision could again be done for the slug in the US system.

    US units are easier to use because they divide EVENLY by many more factors than metric units. 1km or 1000m evenly divides by 1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 20, 25, 40, 50, 100, 125, 200, 250, 500, and 1000 That's it. 16 factors. And very commonly needed ones like 3 are missing. 1 mile or 5280 feet divides evenly by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16, 20, 22, 24, 30, 32, 33, 40, 44, 48, 55, 60, 66, 80, 88, 96, 110, 120, 132, 160, 165, 176, 220, 240, 264, 330, 352, 440, 480, 528, 660, 880, 1056, 1320, 1760, 2640, and 5280. That's 48 factors. Far more useful.

    It was probably for this reason that time and angular measurements didn't go metric (where do you see gradients except on road signs warning of inclines [100 grads is a right angle]). 360 degrees divides evenly by 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 18, 20, 24, 30, 36, 40, 45, 60, 72, 90, 120, 180, and 360. 24 factors! Now that's convenient!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    You could also add:

    4 oz. bourbon whiskey

    (But only if you're of legal age, of course.)

    all mah bitchez on de street, Word 2 the Hawkman
  • by Speare (84249) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:35PM (#786892) Homepage Journal

    The questionaire mentioned above can be found at the http://www.self-gov.org/quiz.html [self-gov.org], entitled, "World's Smallest Political Quiz."

    As noted by the domain name (self-gov), this is a tool by libertarians. However, it is generally fair, if a bit simplistic. Ten questions: five on economic issues and five on social issues.

    The four extents are Left-Liberal (social freedom over economic freedom), Right-Conservative (economic over social), Authoritarians (neither economic nor social individual freedom), and Libertarians (minimal central government).

    The middle of the chart is, as you might predict, the Centrists, which represents nearly all elected officials in the US, regardless of their mud-slung labels.

    They even break Authoritarians into left-authoritarians (socialists) and right-authoritarians (fascists).

    I've made a Palm version of the same quiz, and it was made for the Newton a couple years back. Email me for a PalmOS/PocketC version.

  • by bemis (29806) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:25PM (#786893) Homepage
    Wait a second!!!
    If I'm not mistaken I've already got a patent pending on that!

    bemis
    -shut up dude! i was just trying to impress your mom!
  • I never got the chance to see it. I sounded funny, what was it? Any mirrors?

    -Derek
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...is God. No wonder the Pogues were such a great band.
  • by askheaves (207302) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:26PM (#786896)
    Is it bad that after looking at each Britney Spears picture for about 3 seconds each, I started reading the equations and trying to remember my Junior year semiconductors class?
  • It's still a joke. That adds credibility. Americans are not known for "getting" jokes though, so be my guest and take it seriously if you want.
  • "if blowing up Bush isn't enough stress reduction for you"

    I said it before and I'll say it again.

    I have a strong objection to the ever-growing pattern of slashdotters assuming everyone here is a left-winged, christian hating, disgusted by anyone Republican ... well, you get the idea. Typical close-minded collegiate America.

    When I was just a wee geek lad, our kind clung to the idea that NO political party was good enough for our high ideals. Alas, I miss those days.
  • 'scuse me;
    When Shrub said this, he was speaking in reference to a satirical website [gwbush.com] about him. Junior is notoriously thin-skinned and really believes that sites like this one should be censored. I'll take anarchy over fascism any day.
  • Macs are a booger to deal with...(hehehe)
  • http://www.britneyspears.ac/lasers.htm gives a 404 error, now. Bummer. Did anyone mirror it?
  • Ah, I wasn't aware of the context. While I agree with his statement (i.e, there should be no 'freedom to kill'), he's wrong here if he's talking about freedom of speech
  • by Shoeboy (16224) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:41PM (#786903) Homepage
    using Word to create a text-only output is a slippery slope
    Hallelujah my brother.
    You have hit the proverbial nail right on it's proverbial motherfucking head.
    Once you start down the slippery slope there's no telling where you might end up. I've heard horrifying tales of people using advanced multi-user operating systems for playing nethack. There have even been rumors of people using turing-complete programming languages to print "hello world". Thank god those are only rumors.
    --Shoeboy
  • It surprises me that this project gets as littly publicity as it does. Personally I believe that Jem Finer is a genious. He was a computer science major before he was recruited to play with the Pogues, a great irish band (check them out, if buyin CDs Rum, Sodomy, and the Lash, If I should Fall From Grace With God, and Red Roses For Me are the best three albums.), and when the band broke up, he came up with this...I can't wait till it gets streamed

  • Dude, all Moviefone tells me is "Spinal Tap is not playing in your area."

    I'm hoping for something with a list of towns so I can pick the one closest to me.
    --

  • Optimal is 15.400000001, but 15.4 is close enough. BUT IN THE NAME OF GOD DONT GO 15.5!!!!
  • I have no qualms with penis birds. In fact, they may enhance your stone-cold statuefest!

    ______

  • Actually, here in Tokyo, the most frequent comment I hear about them is "Hmmm... Eki no haizara..."
    (Trainstation ashtray)
    They really do look quite the same.
    Cheers,
    Jim

  • dammit!

    first of all, rfc's usually are co-written by multiple vendors. no one really trusts the motivations of a single vendor.

    secondly, rfc's usually seek to satisfy a need or inadequacy. tell me, what's so broken about using text to create rfc's?

    and they wonder why they (M$) are called borg - sigh...

    --

  • is the RIAA behind this too?

    Of course, at $18 per CD, the RIAA stands to make lots of money off this.

    And, using MP3s or streaming techniques violates the RIAA's right to be the sole source of acoustic art in the world.

  • Has anybody got a mirror of the Q3 files up? If I get them I'll post one.

    __________________________________________________ ___

  • If I nuke Cheney, is that considered homework?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    "Statuephiles" are messed up. The squishy parts are the best.
  • Your computer may randomly stop responding (hang) in the Choco-Banana shake recipe...
    So that's what happened when momma sent me over to the neighbor's for a cuppa sugar. Her recipe hung.
  • sorry guy, but I see this as purely posturing on the part of M$. the thinly veiled attempt to "help the internet community" (yeah, we are in serious need of help; not everyone is using M$ products. uhuh. yup.) by telling us all the workarounds to getting regular old text out of a bloatware wysiwyg system is seen for what it is.

    if getting rfc-compliant text takes so much work that you need an rfc, then please, dump the idea and go back to vi, emacs or heck, even notepad!

    if you need spellchecking, ispell is available. grammar checking? please - I doubt stuff like this will help much in highly technical docs like rfc's.

    --

  • I said the same thing below, but I signed my name to it.

    You'll find that your opinions will get read here more often (although not always agreed to) if you take the time to login.

    btw... there's more to life than the high school taught theories of left wing vs. right wing. For the rest of you reading this: just because we don't want to be liberals, don't assume that we're conservatives either. How linear you people think.

    (read my post below)

    oh, and by today's poll results, Taco is pissing off 40% of the readers... but I'm not sure if that represents total population or total voting population.
  • i guess it won't be available on napster. is the RIAA behind this too?

  • In metric it's spelled tonne!
  • Only a Microsoft user would consider proposing a standard which involves a proprietary executable program...
  • points out how Word can sometimes be problematic when dealing with text export
    can sometimes? I just finished reading the RFC, and I'm pretty sure that it was meant as a humourus post. If it wasn't, it darn well should be. The steps to get things working were so absurd. Printing to a text file and then running a modified version of CRLF? Give me a break.
  • Being from Barcelona has its rewards... and one is having had Unix Fire Extinguishers at work.

    I can assure y'all that they exists and they are in use.

    We never used them, thanks God!, but they were handy, just in case. (Yes, most of the programers used to be heavy smokers in Barcelona. And, no, there's no such word as "sue" there) God Bless Unix in all is variants. Cheers, Sinner P.S.: Can someone create a daemon called "fired" so we can control the excessive heat on overclocked boxes?
  • Why is Slashdot ignoring the reports of Rob Malda and Andover's huge illegal campaign contribution to the Democratic party?

    Liar.

    If Rob's leftist editorial slant wasn't enough, he and his supporters at Andover had to go and illegally contribute US$134 000 to the coffers of Algore.

    Common Cause has a searchable database [commoncause.org] of soft money contributions. Searches for "Andover", "Slashdot", and "Malda" reveal no contributions to any of the parties.

    Mainstream sources (www.wired.com) are already reporting about this lapse in campaign finance.

    A search of wired turns up no such articles.

    Julius Stine, public policy analyst at the Kennedy School of Government was quoted as saying

    A search of Kennedy School's website reveals no such person named "Stine" or "Stein".

  • where the hell did you get that?

    I'm not trying to censor any posts. I'm saying that as an editor you really screw up things by tainting the news. That's all.

    You all want to act like this is some Oklahoma small town grocery store insert...more power to you.

    I'm just saying that your comments reinforce that image.

    Wow... are YOU the idiot.
  • and the archives serve what purpose then?

    are you assuming that everything on the web is done in real time nowadays? Like if you weren't reading the articles as they happened, then you have no idea what Slashdot is all about?

    why do you even have to have been involved in Slashdot at all? This new internet crap is the accumulation of tons of different fields and disciplines all pretty much minding there own business to this point. They were using the net, just didn't give a crap about a bunch of west coast geeks and their BBS.

    The attitudes are all the same whether you've been here or not.

    Personally, I don't find the typical slashdotters very intelligent or stimulating. They all seem to be about 13 and knee-jerk respond to everything. Read this thread for example.
  • And just how does one precisely collect this exact amount of pure water to define the mass unit? Scrape the top of a 1 cm cube filled with water really fast with a knife. And where yo you get "pure" water? Now that's precision! Sorry, the block of metal in the filtered air vault in Paris *is* by sheer decree exactly 1.00000000000... kg. And it's a kg because 1g is too light to accurately calibrate anything with.

    Actually, "pure" water is easy for any chemist to make (at least, "pure enough"). As for the volume, any moron can build a container with a volume of 1 cm^3, even if the actual shape isn't cubic. And it's then easy to measure the weight of the liquid+container, substract the container's weight, and then build equivalent metallic masses.

    1g is too difficult to weight ? Well, current weighting accuracy is more in the nanogram range these days... BESIDES, you can always take one thousand of these cubic centimetres, lump them together, and make a kilogram weight. And you won't have a weird fraction of whatnot in your way.

    The original gauges stored in Pavillon Baltard are long since obsolete.... and never really useful, since physical definition (that is, definition using physical features available everywhere) is the whole point of the metric system.

    You've never dealt with a third? Impossible.

    Who cares to ? If .33 is not precise enough, .333 or .3333 will be. And that I can compare with .7351 or .23158

  • not to mention that I didn't bother to create an account for at least a year of finding slashdot...

    it was just above crappy then...and it's sinking slowly.
  • Except that no one uses mft or kft. A system is useful only if it has users....
  • which just goes to show how stupid the karma system now is...

    I liked it better the old way when NO ONE could moderate. At least I got to read ALL the sides.

    You know, as in UNBIASED.

    Wow, some of you people are full of self-centered crap. I was just saying open your minds up a little, and like Orthodox Catholics you people want to put me on the rack for threatening your self-important values.

    This is all becoming a waste of time. There aren't any intelligent views here any more... or if there are, you have to go deep into the zero moderated to find them.
  • Damn you! I was going to post that!
    ---
  • Does anyone know how to find out what venues This is Spinal Tap is playing? If it's close enough to me, I'd like to drive up and see it. But I'll be darned if I can find that information anywhere.
    --
  • Hey! Another one who writes before reading what he's responding to. Tell me, how did Napoleanic french people manage to measure light traveling in a vacuum for that short a time? The pole to the equator was the original measurement.

    ...

    But there are no other units of length in metric. I can do the same with feet. millifeet, kilofeet, megafeet. Had metric did that, they'd have their base 10 system and be compatible with existing measurments. Reasonable, yes? But noooo, they had to be an ass and come up with something totally incompatible. 1) it was not "Napoleanic" people. That undertaking was done in the early 1790's, way before Bonaparte was even talked about.

    2) the first definition of the metre was indeed a decimal fraction of a meridian, and the measurement of the meridian was indeed made by measuring the Paris-Barcelona one. HOWEVER, choosing a meridian instead of, say, a parallel (such as the one going through Washington, DC) was not innocent. With even ten times the measuring accuracy of the era, all meridians (including the one going through OK city) lead to the defining the same length of a metre. The goal of the scientists who designed the unit was precisely so that "once everyone has adopted this system, no man needs to remember who adopted it first or invented it".

    Quick rebuttal to your "compatibility" proposition (mft,ft,kft,...) : 1) at the time, there was no such thing as a "standard" foot. There was one per MINOR city in Europe. Yes. Every damn city here had its own system for lengths, masses, volumes (only time was more or less already standard, which is why "metric time" has never taken off and was totally abandoned around 1807. Well, the metric calendar had other design flaws, too). Usually, that per-city system was even more messy than the mess you use in the US. (and look, that mess makes NASA loose Mars probes. Damn morons). Being uncompatible, wiping out the unit mess of the older times was a design feature. Just before the French revolution, the little people was asked to write down doleances, so that the King could see what was urgent to improve. Believe it or not, those people were tired of converting everything but money when travelling a few dozen kms.

    2) the mft,ft,kft is not a system. To make that a system competitive with metric, you have to build the rest of units, and express the physical constants in the new units. That means you have to choose which of the various ounces you'll drop to keep just one. And besides, why wouldn't other use yard or mile-based length units ? This is precisely why there is no other unit of length in the metric system : duplicates are evil, and both a loss of time and a loss of usefulness. 3) Why would you loose time designing that "decimal us" system ? You'd be an ass and come up with something totally incompatible. AND NOW, there is a definite, internationally agreed upon standard (which wasn't the case in 1793) : the metric one. Live with it.

  • Actually, it's no longer one ten-millionth.

    It's now caluclated (like many calibrations) based on a specific number of wavelengths of the specific type of radiation given off by a certain material(I forget the details).

    The kilogram is not, as you say, based on a lump of metal in a french vault, and is not the 'base unit'.
    The GRAM is the base unit.

    1 GRAM = weight of .001L (1mL) of pure water at sea level.
    1 ml = 1cubic centimeter.
    a centimeter is 1/100th of a meter.

    And perhaps, because you have been raised on it, you find obscure fractions easier to remember than pure decimals.. like, is a 3/16 greater or less than a 13/64? How much is the difference?
    It's a lot easier to say it's a .012 or a .038 or whatever.... (at least, for us civilized people it is).

  • And you missed one - it's young, racist, sexist [britneyspears.ac], white males.

    Don't think I won't fight to support the rights of those who created that execrable Ackbar comic or the banal "look, pretty girl - isn't it funny that she's dumber than us!" Spears page; I don't call for the banning of such trifles.

    Neither will I let them slide on this forum without comment, however. I think it's stupid, unfunny shit, and feel that such pages should reflect poorly on their authors, however smart they might be (or believe themselves to be).

    Typically such works are trolls (of the traditional, desiring-to-provoke-response sort), but in these two examples, I strongly suspect the authors simply gave voice to their own preconceptions without thinking, proving themselves fools, or at least socially immature.

    -Isaac

  • Did anyone go far enough down to see the C code for use with that Word/RFC thing? Blech! I am very glad I got out of Windows programming long ago. What the hell were they doing calling "_close" instead of just "close"? What ever happened to leading underscore identifiers being for *internal* things? I doubt a program that just converts a text file from one format to another really needs to be making low-level leading-underscore calls deep into the bowels of the libraries like that. What the hell is wrong with these people who program at Microsoft? That's like steering your car by going under the hood and manhandling the front wheels, as opposed to using that round thing that sticks out of the dashboard.
  • Did they actually finish that one? I read the one about IPv6 Number compression, and the Hamlet-making group of infinite monkeys on keyboards, but I thought the carrier pigeons was just a rumor. I couldn't find it. Could you point me to it?
  • by Th3 D0t (204045) on Monday September 11, 2000 @06:07PM (#786964)
    Or what if the world spins the wrong way [microsoft.com]?
    ---
  • TIME failed when they were taken over by Warner. Or was it the other way round?
  • Look, this is not an RFC, it's an Internet Draft. Anyone can submit an Internet Draft. I can submit an Internet Draft on the Frobnification of Foobars tomorrow if I want, and that won't mean the Frobnification of Foobars is in any way endorsed by anyone in the Internet standards process.

    An Internet Draft shouldn't even be referred to. And if it is, it should always be indicated as WORK IN PROGRESS (in capitals). An Internet Draft is only valid for six months after last modification: when it expires, every copy should be deleted. Internet Drafts should not be archived. One should not adhere to the standards described in Internet Drafts, nor claim conformance to one. (Of course, these are the "official" guidelines. In practice, Internet Drafts are often followed if they come from a well-known or authoritative source like an IETF working group or the author of a previous RFC on the subject.)

    Before an Internet Draft becomes an RFC, it must be accepted by the RFC Editor after approval from the IESG (Internet Engineering Steering Group).

    In any case, M$ is not officially involved in this draft. Merely because the author is one of their employees does not mean they endorse it.

  • Conservative? Sounds like you became an utter Fascist. Shooting liberals isn't on my politcal agenda, but then I'm not governor of Texas.
  • It is 2387 ferbles to the rod, and that's the way it should be.

    The metric system is the tool of the devil! My car gets forty rods to the hogshead and that's the way I likes it.

    2F31 [snpp.com]

  • I just finished reading the RFC, and I'm pretty sure that it was meant as a humourus post

    Oh, no! Do you mean they write humorous RFCs? Now I wonder if RFC 1149, about implementing the Internet Protocol on carrier pigeons, was actually a joke...

  • Which one country do you mean ... the UK or the USA?

    I figured you meant the USA, but then you said that industry in this country uses metric units and everybody knows that NASA's Mars disasters were caused because industry in the USA doesn't use metric units.

    Industry in the UK has been metric for decades.

  • Just for kicks.....

    An mp3 encoded at 128kbps for the 1000 year song
    would be 526 terabytes. This may seem large now, but I would imagine that by the time the song is done recording, hundreds of terabytes will be considered inadaquate to hold even the most simple microsoft application.

    For those of you burning that on CDs, thats approximately 809170 CDs. This is a pile of CD's that would stack about a mile and a half.

    If the RIAA has sued everyone into oblivion and is still using regular CD audio at the time (this is not all that unreasonable) and they intend to sell each CD for $15 apiece.....
    That would be 9710040 CDs for a grand total of $145,650,600.

    Assuming a 2% annual inflation rate, in today's dollars that would be 36 cents. Not bad for a song thats 1000 years long. :)

    oh well. Time to go to bed now.

    -Restil
  • by bfree (113420) on Tuesday September 12, 2000 @02:58AM (#786983)
    It's great to see so many people trumping in with the definitions of mass, HOWEVER I am afraid that the original poster is correct.
    The standard unit of mass is the kg, and the kg is defined as the mass of a platinum (I think) block stored in Paris. The block is meant to be exactly the same mass as 0.1m x 0.1m x 0.1m of pure water at maximum volume (i.e. 4 degrees C) at standard atmospheric pressure (sea-level, 1 Bar????). Unfortunatley for the idiots making the "block" they never noticed or were unable to discover with the current methods that they were about 0.04% out and hence the whole water idea had to be scrapped and the block was used instead. The question is why did the idiots not just stick with the physical definition and stuff the block!
    As for the meter etc. It was created as 1/10e7 of the quarter circumference of the earth through both poles and Paris...however as this is patently absurd and useless it was actually the distance between two scratches held on a metal "ruler". This was subsequently re-expressed (and the definition of the width of the scratches etc. made moot) as both the distance travelled by a certain number of wavelengths of the red-orange emissions of krypton 69 (or some other isotope, I hate chemistry) AND the distance travelled by light in the micro fraction of a second it takes to go a meter (debate has ensued previously over which is the true definition of a meter but I believe it is the multiple of the wavelength of the Krypton).
    since physical definition (that is, definition using physical features available everywhere) is the whole point of the metric system.
    The whole point of the metric system was to provide a scalable system without all the 12 of these or 16 or those or 3 of these makes a schnugelbindel, a consequence was meant to be the definition of all values by inrefutable physical quantities.....It failed. You could define the Imperial measures by similar means (reduce number of wavelngths and you have a yard, work out the volume of water for a pound) but they would still be a pig to work with when scaling (how big is 10e13 inches or 10e13 cm, I know my mind loves the latter and detests the former). Metric is about the number 10, not about definitions.
  • I didn't see my favorite candidite for president in the battle. Why not? If anybody is out-spoken/motivated/extreme/crazy enough to be weilding a BFG9000, it's Nader. Better yet, you could have a mod where Nader has the chance to level all the heads of big corporations.
  • HP 9000s were out ages ago... :)
  • Metric Tonne.
    Imperial Ton.

    Thank you,
    Dave

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Interesting idea. I tend to come out as Centrist because most of the questions are poorly framed. You only get information out of the quiz when someone picks an extreme opinion. For example, "Drug laws do more harm than good. Repeal them." I assume this refers to the prescription system in general as well as "narcotics." But that is not a relevant question in politics today. The relevant question is whether smoking marijuana should be legal.

    Now, I understand and agree with their general sentiment. But the degree is crucial, and I am simply not that extreme. I think marijuana use should be legal, but I think opiates should be controlled, so I come out as a fascist (well, social conservative) on that question.

    And it is the same for the rest of the quiz. Although I agree with all of their values (except the minimum wage one, which I can't believe at all), the Libertarian position is just too extreme on each one.

    And so although I know I am in fact liberal to centrist on most issues, I answer 'N' or 'M' to all of them and end up Authoritarian.

    If that is what they want to call me, so be it. Although I won't call myself Authoritarian, I know where I stand with respect to them!


    Furthermore, the whole 2d spectrum is becoming increasingly outdated. The missing component is to what degree freedoms are granted to corporations as well as to individuals. I expect this issue will only become more important in the next few years.

    Rather than Individual vs. Government, it is menage a trois: Individual vs. Corporation vs. Government. Most people will simplify this as Individual vs. Corporation, with the Government a free lance to be wielded by either side. For this reason I expect the Greens to be much more relevant than the Libertarians.
  • by Cy Guy (56083) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:23PM (#786991) Homepage Journal
    So, BSOD=Banana Screen of Death???

    This was doubly funny since I had a Choco-Banana shake for breakfast this morning.

    Here's my recipe in case you don't want to risk the Banana Screen of Death.

    1 Banana, peeled
    5-7 Ice Cubes
    5 oz, Soy Chocolate Milk
    2 oz, Liquid Non-Dairy Creamer
    1-1/2 scoops Soy Protein Powder

    Blend Ice & liquids until ice fully crushed.
    Add Banana & Protein Powder and blend and still smooth.

    Drink within 12-15.4 seconds to avoid 'brain freeze'.

  • Are you a complete idiot? It's a JOKE RFC, for Christ's sake. It's one thing bashing M$ when they deserve it, but to bash them because they made a joke WHICH YOU WERE TOO STUPID TO GET is just silly.
  • That was actually an April fool's joke on a local radio station about 25 years ago. They called it "Norman-caller time" or something like that, and people fell for it in droves. I wish I could recount memories of the people blowing a collective nut over it, but I wasn't born yet.
  • If you have never read any RFCs, I sugest you get the book 'TCP/IP Blueprints' by Burk, Bligh, Lee, et al., SAMS Publishing 1997, ISBN 0-672-31055-4, and take a look at page 368, Appendix A - item A.2.2. - "April Fool Spoof RFCs", and learn what this RFC is all about.
  • If you don't like it, stop coming here.

    The slashdot crew makes absolutely no claim of being impartial in any way, shape, or form. If you want unbiased reporting, good luck. If you want a source that pretends it, read your local newspaper. If you want people who don't even try to pretend, come here.
  • by andycal (127447) on Monday September 11, 2000 @04:58PM (#786997)
    Some time ago I saw a questionnaire from the libertarian party that presented political positions as a XY grid, where one axis was social issues and another was fiscal issues.

    This was a HUGE eye opener for me, and ever since I have been annoyed at media classifications of simple LeftRight.

    Either a) most of the main stream media don't get this concept. Or
    b) They think we are all too stupid to understand such a "complex" idea. ;-)

    That being said, I just think we are done a disservice when editorial comments on slashdot cause it to sound like a PAC newsletter. Consider that when people who disagree read your comments, they downgrade the rest of what you say.

    Report the issues and facts, Don't tell us how to think.
  • To avoid this, turn off "auto formatting" Tools Autocorrect On the property pages 'AutoFormat' and 'AutoFormat As You Type', turn off all of the auto formatting options.

    This is a S.O.P.
  • by g_mcbay (201099) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:07PM (#786999)
    I was waiting for a post like this..Knew it was coming.

    If you had read the RFC, you'd have seen that it was simply a template and some instructions to make writing RFC writing easier if you are using Micrsofot Word.

    It's NOT a request that Word become the 'official' file format of RFCs. In fact, though it was written by MS employees, it most points out how Word can sometimes be problematic when dealing with text export, etc, and offers solutions to work around these issues.

    Please read the links before you blindly comment on them.

  • Spears does silicon eh? who'da thunk it...hey, wait, someone's e key's mebbe a little less punchy then it oughta be.
  • Damn! Here I was thinking that Windows was perfectly optimized for keeping recipes.
  • I did read [enough] of the 'rfc' to get the gist.

    and my point is: using Word to create a text-only output is a slippery slope. its all to easy to be tempted (by wysiwyg editors) to insert large fonts, pictures, etc. whereas, using emacs or vi will NOT even allow such idiocy.

    if someone wants to use such overkill as Word to create .txt files - fine. but there is NO need to put out an rfc for that. have you ever seen .emacs files submitted as rfc's? of course not!!

    its just par for the course - M$ think's their the world and they think their 'contribution' really earns them "internet points". it does not.

    --

  • Yes YOU Americans are right. It is 2387 ferbles to the rod, and that's the way it should be.
  • I don't know how many people followed the link to the Admiral Akbar roundtable discussion, but it was the most offensive stereotypical crap I've seen since the Amos and Andy marathon was on TCM. Is Samuel L Jackson, one of the baddest ass mofos around gonna say "Lidden here, sucka"? I think not. As funny as it seems, I'm serious about this. If Slashdot links to that will they also link to a KKK rant on how the white man has been opressed by the MPAA and RIAA because of their Jew leaders, blah blah blah? It's not funny. Samuel L Jackson is a black man, but he's very articulate. Slashdot is not "News for Clansmen. Stuff that's racially insensitive."
    Geeks are thought of as young white males. Will they also be thought of as young racist white males? Shouldn't we reach out to people of other races, lifestyles, genders, etc? At least try to develope some form of social conscience and think of how inclusive we are as a group. Do you think no minorities read Slashdot? Do you think nobody would be offended by such an obvious stereotype?
    It was not funny, it was offensive to me and I'm a young white male, and things like this can cast us in a bad light. Have some responsibility, and sensitivity.
  • by Guy Harris (3803) <guy@alum.mit.edu> on Monday September 11, 2000 @07:04PM (#787017)
    Some other amusing entries in the knowledgebase are Computer Randomly Plays Classical Music [microsoft.com] and Sometimes Barney Starts Playing Peekaboo on His Own [microsoft.com].
  • While people exclaim, "RFCs are just ASCII files!" they should also realize that they are annoyingly, frustratingly, carefully formatted files.

    Page breaks, page numbers, page references, avoidance of anything outside seven-bit ASCII, requirements for \r\n\r\n instead of \r\n\n, footnotes, bibliography, and so on.

    Now it's starting to look like a useful thing to have a few of those references and footnotes automatically renumbered.

    Emacs (or vi, or Perl, or whatever) could use a template or reference-manipulator like this to generate conformant output, too. It's just that some people don't use Emacs.

  • A comedy/rap band on MP3.com called "No Time" has had a bit of fun at Dr. Hawking's expense. Go to their page [mp3s.com] and listen to "No Time Presents Steven Hawking".

  • From: patl@athena.mit.edu (Patrick J. LoPresti)
    Message-ID:
    Sender: news@athena.mit.edu (News system)
    Subject: The True Path (long)
    Date: 11 Jul 91 03:17:31 GMT
    Path: ai-lab!mintaka!olivea!samsung!zaphod.mps.ohio-stat e.edu!think.com!snorkelwacker.mit.edu!bl oom-picayune.mit.edu!athena.mit.edu!patl
    Newsgroups: alt.religion.emacs,alt.slack
    Organization: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Lines: 95
    Xref: ai-lab alt.religion.emacs:244 alt.slack:1935

    When I log into my Xenix system with my 110 baud teletype, both vi
    *and* Emacs are just too damn slow. They print useless messages like,
    'C-h for help' and '"foo" File is read only'. So I use the editor
    that doesn't waste my VALUABLE time.

    Ed, man! !man ed

    ED(1) UNIX Programmer's Manual ED(1)

    NAME
    ed - text editor

    SYNOPSIS
    ed [ - ] [ -x ] [ name ]
    DESCRIPTION
    Ed is the standard text editor.
    ---

    Computer Scientists love ed, not just because it comes first
    alphabetically, but because it's the standard. Everyone else loves ed
    because it's ED!

    "Ed is the standard text editor."

    And ed doesn't waste space on my Timex Sinclair. Just look:

    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root 24 Oct 29 1929 /bin/ed
    -rwxr-xr-t 4 root 1310720 Jan 1 1970 /usr/ucb/vi
    -rwxr-xr-x 1 root 5.89824e37 Oct 22 1990 /usr/bin/emacs

    Of course, on the system *I* administrate, vi is symlinked to ed.
    Emacs has been replaced by a shell script which 1) Generates a syslog
    message at level LOG_EMERG; 2) reduces the user's disk quota by 100K;
    and 3) RUNS ED!!!!!!

    "Ed is the standard text editor."

    Let's look at a typical novice's session with the mighty ed:

    golem> ed

    ?
    help
    ?
    ?
    ?
    quit
    ?
    exit
    ?
    bye
    ?
    hello?
    ?
    eat flaming death
    ?
    ^C
    ?
    ^C
    ?
    ^D
    ?

    ---
    Note the consistent user interface and error reportage. Ed is
    generous enough to flag errors, yet prudent enough not to overwhelm
    the novice with verbosity.

    "Ed is the standard text editor."

    Ed, the greatest WYGIWYG editor of all.

    ED IS THE TRUE PATH TO NIRVANA! ED HAS BEEN THE CHOICE OF EDUCATED
    AND IGNORANT ALIKE FOR CENTURIES! ED WILL NOT CORRUPT YOUR PRECIOUS
    BODILY FLUIDS!! ED IS THE STANDARD TEXT EDITOR! ED MAKES THE SUN
    SHINE AND THE BIRDS SING AND THE GRASS GREEN!!

    When I use an editor, I don't want eight extra KILOBYTES of worthless
    help screens and cursor positioning code! I just want an EDitor!!
    Not a "viitor". Not a "emacsitor". Those aren't even WORDS!!!! ED!
    ED! ED IS THE STANDARD!!!

    TEXT EDITOR.

    When IBM, in its ever-present omnipotence, needed to base their
    "edlin" on a UNIX standard, did they mimic vi? No. Emacs? Surely
    you jest. They chose the most karmic editor of all. The standard.

    Ed is for those who can *remember* what they are working on. If you
    are an idiot, you should use Emacs. If you are an Emacs, you should
    not be vi. If you use ED, you are on THE PATH TO REDEMPTION. THE
    SO-CALLED "VISUAL" EDITORS HAVE BEEN PLACED HERE BY ED TO TEMPT THE
    FAITHLESS. DO NOT GIVE IN!!! THE MIGHTY ED HAS SPOKEN!!!

    ?
  • by pb (1020) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:07PM (#787027)
    Now that I've seen a picture of one of those Mac Cubes in action, (as it were) I can't believe no one mentioned (or took a picture of) the obvious use for it!

    It's a TOASTER! It always was a toaster, and it always will be! Forget NeXT, forget the Amiga, the Cube is the right boxy shape, *and* it has the slots for BREAD!

    That's awesome; I want one of those to go with those iMac aquariums Apple sells. In fact, why don't they ditch the whole computer line and go into home furnishings?
    ---
    pb Reply or e-mail; don't vaguely moderate [ncsu.edu].
  • Actually, I think plenty of people are disgusted by the Democratic ticket, or at least will be after they read this:

    Gore Takes Tough Stand on Violent Entertainment [nytimes.com]

    I really think that a lot of the christian hating is just based on a "please leave us alone" attitude. People aren't objecting to say, the Amish, because the Amish aren't trying to force their views on anyone else, despite the fact that most pro-technology people would find the Amish lifestyle anathema.

    I do think, however, that there is something seriously wrong in knocking Bush's conservatism and not knocking Gore's conservatism. After all, I'm pretty well convinced that Bush's pandering to the Christian right is just based on vote getting... whereas I believe Gore is a true believer.

    At any rate, one or the other is going to get elected and it is going to suck for gamers and people who believe in Free Speech in general no matter which way the election goes.

    I suggest computer and console game developers read up on the Comics Code authority [dm.net], because I forsee something similar in gaming's future:

    Comic books were forced to adhere to a code which simplified and neutered the westerns, crime and romance genres. The horror comic books all but disappeared, while the funny animal comics flourished. Over a half dozen publishers went under, and a number of talented industry professionals moved into other fields for a while. --Origin Of The Comics Code Authority [sideroad.com]

    The political arena thing is amusing, but it reminds me of, Are You a Red Dupe? [tripod.com], a final attempt at political satire from an industry that is about to have the life and creativity crushed out of it.

  • We're talking about a miscommunication between two organizations, both in the US. Go figure.

    I wouldn't say a measurement system is to blame anyway, more like incompetent adminstration. But the US doesn't have a monopoly on that!

  • Isaac Asimov proposed this with the day as the base unit (since we humans have 1-day internal rythms, it would be more useful when going into space than say a Earth year or a Moon month).
    __
  • by Curious G (72425) <curiousgene@gmail.com> on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:15PM (#787034) Homepage
    Does this mean we now get the Choco-Banana Screen of Death? Because the all the Blueberry Screens of Death were starting to make my teeth hurt. Maybe this way I'll get some vitamins...
  • by Shoeboy (16224) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:17PM (#787041) Homepage
    I can't believe taco didn't post the formation of the karma whore fantasy league [slashdot.org].
    --Shoeboy
  • You can use moviefone.com [moviefone.com] to find out where This is Spinal Tap is playing [moviefone.com]
  • by aint (183045) on Monday September 11, 2000 @05:23PM (#787054)
    Here are some useful links for those feeling hand/wrist/shoulder/back pain from computer use.

    -- .sig --
  • Gawd that was funny.

    If any of you liked that, then you might find this site humorous:

    Multiple Regression with Ren & Stimpy [nmsu.edu]

    Cheers...



    --

  • I have an LP (Yes! genuine vinyl) by Jan Gabarek (sp?) that is recordings of some wind instruments (accompanyed by JG on sax) that are setup on some Scandanavian seashore and are driven by the winds coming in from offshore. They could, essentially, create music until the Sun goes cold or, if they're made of wood, until they rot away. Personally, I'd rather listen to them than something over the internet (mainly because I'd have to be on the seashore to hear them).



    --

  • by rkent (73434) <rkent@@@post...harvard...edu> on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:21PM (#787062)
    "and they seem to be unaware that the name Unix might be inappropriate if you are marketing a reliable and fail (and fool) proof device."

    Oh, man! I think that's a fine name for a reliable fire extinguisher... A lot better than Microsoft Extinguish©, v1.0!!

    ;)

  • by mholve (1101) on Monday September 11, 2000 @03:22PM (#787063) Homepage
    Now who's gonna sue who? Apple sue Kleenex or vice versa?

    That's pretty funny, that picture. I kinda thought it looked like one myself when they came out. LOL!

  • >and my point is: using Word to create a >text-only output is a slippery slope. its all to >easy to be tempted (by wysiwyg editors) to >insert large fonts, pictures, etc. whereas, >using emacs or vi will NOT even allow such >idiocy. Anyone who breaks RFC 2223 by doing such things would have their RFC rejected.

    I can think of plenty of reasons of using Word to create drafts -- great spell/grammar checker, thesaurus, etc.

    Personally, Microsoft does win some points in my eyes for this. Again, if you took the time to at least scan through the RFC you'd see that it generally covers PROBLEMS in using Word for RFCs..It points out several of Word's weaknesses..It doesn't state that Word would be a good format to submit final RFCs in.

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