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Comment Re: Farewell to the soulskill and samzenpus (Score 1) 581

This Unicode gripe is almost as bad as the anti-aliasing gripe you used to hear from Linux people. I guess Linux has anti-aliasing now, because I haven't heard that one in ages. You know what? I hope they *never* get Unicode on Slashdot. What would we do with it? OK, the occasional accent grave or umlaut is nice, but all the emoticons that come along for the ride just aren't worth it. Yeah, they could filter it, but whatever. Slashdot without unicode is just fine. Slashdot without stories is nothing.

Comment Re:Nature Abhors a Vacuum (Score 1) 139

HUGE amount of force trying to crush the tube. 14 lbs/ square inch.

The Transbay Tube has a maximum depth in water of 41m, and according to this calculator experiences 74.4696 psi at that depth.

The tube liner by itself would probably have no trouble handling the pressure. It will almost certainly be surrounded by steel-reinforced concrete or at the very least pipeline steel because building such things is well understood. However it's built, it'll be ridiculously over-built if an M-80 or a rifle is the biggest threat. A real terrorist IED is always a threat of course, but no more so than for traditional rail.

Comment Re:Take back Slashdot (Score 4, Insightful) 1306

Gamify the f--k out of Karma.

We've both been around long enough to remember numerical Karma, I think. I know I remember building up a fairly high number, and then "spending" it with some silly trolls just for grins and giggles. Have you thought through the whole idea of gamifying it?

Anyway, I don't actively block ads on Slashdot--they're just collateral damage of script blocking. The script blocking is just there to avoid security and/or poor page performance issues. If the new owners can actually find a way to make me view ads without killing the site, they wouldn't just be fixing Slashdot--they'd be demonstrating a model that could fix the web in general.

Yes, that's a tall order and I'm skeptical. I don't know if it's the ad networks or the advertisers, or what; but the state of the art in ads is for them to be annoying as hell to end-users. You'd have to go back to regular old non-animated GIFs served from the same domain in order for me to view ads, and I think that's a tough sell to advertisers, or ad-networks, or anybody that's built a web site in the past 15 years.

This is not quite the same as gamifying Karma, but I think if they borrowed the "gold" concept from reddit and kept their hands off the moderation and Karma systems they might have something. You know how that works? Users buy "gold" for other users. Getting gold unlocks some site features, the money goes to reddit. There is a thing that tells you how much server time the gold purchase has provided.

I'm not sure how much of reddit is funded by gold, but it's probably a big chunk. I've gotten it once--it's way harder to get than a +5 comment, at least for me; but then I don't intentionally try to play to that crowd just for Internet points...

Comment Re: Wannabe soldiers (Score 2) 336

Ammendment V: No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Emphasis mine. In the case of Oregon, it may have been part of the Louisiana Purchase and thus Federal land by default (not sure about the actual history of titles in that case), or it may have been a park later acquired via eminent domain. Regardless of how it was acquired, I'm pretty sure it's Constitutional for the Federal government to own land for any purpose it deems fit for public use.

The taking of land via eminent domain and then the immediate re-purposing of that land for private use is far more controversial and I think it may still be in lower courts than SCOTUS. There were some notorious cases of this back east, and that's where you'd have a strong case against eminent domain taking. As for these renegades, it sounds to me like they want to take land that was acquired by the Feds and convert it to partial private use after a considerable period of time has passed. That's an entirely different matter. Another interesting case would be where the Federal government had taken so much land in a region that they have effectively killed the private market in that region, and whether or not such a government monopoly violated some inherent right. I'm not aware of any cases being brought with such an argument being made.

At any rate, the renegades have checked the last box, and we're seeing the predictable results...

Comment Re: Wannabe soldiers (Score 3, Informative) 336

I think you mean Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2: The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

Comment You probably won't believe this (Score 1) 320

I was highschool age. There was no school that day. I slept in. I was having a dream about this crystal perfume decanter that was one of those "don't you dare touch that because you might break it" objects in the house. In the dream, I had removed the top which is a thin 3-sided pyramid about six inches tall. I fumbled the top. I was like "oh crap, gotta get this back on". For some reason I couldn't get it back on straight. I woke up to the sound of the phone ringing. It was my Mom. She told me to turn on the TV.

My parents are both gone now. I pulled the decanter out of the estate stuff. I still have it. In fact, all I have to do is glance to the right while typing this and I can see it. It does in fact have some chips out of it now; but I have no idea how that happened. It was packed away in newspaper and/or bubblewrap for a long time.

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