Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Star Wars Prequels

Journal: R2-D2, Rebel Leader? 15

Journal by Cliff
from the oh-wow dept.

Original story from Bureau42.

Now, I'm not one to treat Star Wars as some kind of holy religion, and I'm more than happy to read something someone else has done that attempts to take the sillier aspects of the work (all 6 movies) and attempts to inject more sense into them. With that said, I took a look at a re-analysis of SW history, that paints R2-D2 and another fan favorite in a quite different light, and was just utterly floored with the possibility.

Enjoy! :)
User Journal

Journal: My Most Recent "Oh, Cool!" Moment 1

Journal by Cliff
Was Browsing Slashdot

Using my Nintendo Wii

And Mom was Watching

-----------------------------

No, seriously. There's nothing cooler than setting up a new toy, on your surviving parent's 50" projection TV, and having fun together without even playing a game. Mom and I had so much fun with the forcast channel, it was silly! It's been a long time since we've laughed like this together.

So yes, I have now joined the Wii-generation. Maybe I'll see a few of you out there. Just as soon as I've taken my nose (and wii-mote) out of Zelda.

I figure that to be sometime in Q4... or until the next Metroid game is released. =)
User Journal

Journal: The One 14

Journal by Cliff

"Love is a matter of timing. It doesn't matter if you find the person who is right for you, if it's too soon or too late."
- Mr. Chow
2046 by Kar Wai Wong

For me, no words ever spoken on film have had more truth than this.

User Journal

Journal: A New Week. Please God Let It Be Less Interesting... 2

Journal by Cliff
So I've survived a disasterous week without anything further going wrong. The alarm company is coming in tomorrow to add another keypad to the upstairs and I'm changing all of my codes (did I mention I had left the security folder with my passwords where the theives could look at them? Brilliant!). Fortunately the alarm codes aren't written down. Even if they are, the window will close on that, shortly.

Here's hoping this week will be less interesting, in the potentially life threatening and property vanishing departments.



Calgon take me away!
User Journal

Journal: Adding Insult to Injury... 6

Journal by Cliff
As if last night's escapade wasn't bad enough. I had a friend take me out shopping, to replace some of the things that I had lost. Most notably, I wanted to get safer space heaters. So, we shop. It was a fun time, and I really enjoyed spending some time with my friend, outside of the college environment that I work in. We get back to my place, I unload my haul into the house, and notice some guy walking down the alley. He's whistling. Apparently he appears to be whistling for a lost dog, and my friends car is sittling on the street, engine running, and we both fear that he might jump into the car and drive off with it. Neither of us get a close look at the guy, we just know that the whole scene is off, so we don't get a good description of the guy.

That was a mistake.

So, worried about my friend and her car, I rush the packages into the house, and lock the back door, not setting the home alarm since I figured I would be back soon enough.

That was a serious mistake.

We drive off without incident, and she drops me off nearby so I can walk to the local Gas-mart to pick up some sodas, snacks and other things to get me through the night. On my way back home (I'm on foot at this point), I notice that the local bar is having Open Mic Night. I figure I might stop in for a few drinks, and to soak in the local color. I had fun. I met a few people I hadn't seen in a while. Had a few drinks (since I hadn't been in a bar for months), and enjoyed the entertainment. After about an hour (or maybe a few minutes more), I call it quits and begin the short walk back home.

After I get within walking distance of the house, I notice lights on that I don't remember leaving on. This worries me a bit, but not that much. After rounding the final corner, I notice the back door is wide open.

This is wrong. I made a point of deadlocking that door whenever I leave.

It is about that time that I notice that the kitchen window has a nice hole in it, a result of the sizable rock that slung through it. I enter the house, and within seconds, I notice the shambles within.

And my 32" Sony Trinitron Vega TV is gone.

After spending valuable seconds kicking myself for not triggering the alarm, I do so manually. Brinks calls within 2 minutes and I have them call the police. The don't show for at least an hour and a half (this being a call-not-in-progress).

I'm stunned. After kicking myself for not triggering the alarm, I make 2 (two!) calls to 911, and the police finally show, take my report and process the house (and take my fingerprints).

So, for the second night in a row, I find myself in my second office, trying to find some way to get to sleep.

And I'm failing miserably.

I get the feeling that this is going to be a looong week.
User Journal

Journal: It's Nice to Be Alive... 6

Journal by Cliff
Because last night, was a really close thing. Two more seconds and it could have easily been worse. Imagine a nice chair in your bedroom, sitting not 2 feet from your bed, engulfed in flames. Had I not acted when I did (and I'll be honest...I probably could have reacted sooner, since the warning signs were all there) that would have been my reality, last night.

I barely escaped it.

It started with a strange ozone smell that always occured when I turned on my space heater. The heater didn't always cause this smell, but I generally only deal with my bedroom when I'm dead tired and it's time to sleep. It's a new house so it needs some duct work since the central A/C only seems to work on the first floor. First quote to get this fixed? $7,000+.

Right. "That can wait for a bit, I think." I may have to change my tune, on that one.

Anyways, this space heater has been a life saver. I can set the central heat to 60 degrees and avoid the $300+ gas bills I've been paying for the last few months. It worked well for about a month.

Then the ozone smell started. I thought it was the heater, it was really the surge protector. Melting. Slowly.

I thought these things were supposed to have a fuse that burned out when they drew too much current. Looks like APC surge protectors don't.

So first it was the ozone smell. Then...right when I'm trying to doze off to sleep, I hear "*snap* *crackle* *sizzle*". I thought it was some paper on the floor under my bed that was making the noise, it was that soft. Then I open my eyes. See the flashing in the corner of my room.

And the rest happens in flashes.

I jump up. The flashing gets worse. I move my nice chair covered in plenty of flammable materials (cotton sheets, apholstery, etc). The surge protector catches fire. I realize I have hardwood floors. Then I start unplugging stuff to try and save what I can.

I'm able to save just about everything but the space heater. That plug is just not safe.

Of course, I can't sleep. I still haven't slept. I've dozed fitfully with that heater in my normally chilly room for months now. This could have happened at any time while I was completly comatose and I would have been quite dead.

I'm not. I'm very fortunate.

I'm also very, very tired.

[I'm generally not one to write about myself, but I figure last night was interesting enough that I'd share. There are quite a few lessons I've learned from this.

1) Never trust high current devices to a surge protector, no matter how good it is.

2) Invest in smoke alarms with good coverage of your home. To be honest, the one in my room wouldn't have saved me from a fire, but it might have kept me alive if I had been sleeping.

3) Sometimes insomnia has its advantages
]

User Journal

Journal: Utterly Lame Shock Value -- (Lost Spoilers) 4

Journal by Cliff
OK. I just finished up watching this week's Lost, and I gotta say...

Oh wait. Thar be spoilers in dese hills. I'll wait while the folks who DIDN'T read the parenthetical in the title to avert their eyes and click the "Back" button.







Oh wait. Who am I kidding. This is Slashdot. And if you didn't read the title, then there isn't much I can do to prevent the spoilage since Journals (mistakenly) don't have an introtext/bodytext like stories do.

I'd submit a patch, but I doubt TPTB would take it. Oh yes! Smell the irony.

Maybe they'd take a patch for a <spoiler> tag. Hmmm....

Oh! I digress...

Enough spoiler space, yet?







Eh...that should do it...

Now it seems that Abrams and Lindelof (and primarily Liz Samoff, who wrote this particular bundle of joy) enjoy torturing their viewers. It took them a single episode to get me hooked, a half season to get the plot really moving, another half season (or more) to finally get to the mystery of the hatch, and a season and a half to finally get me to like Shannon.

And one scene to kill her off in the lamest piece of shock value I have seen on network TV in a looong time.

Now, of course, I'll be back to watch next week, being the shameless, addicted vidiot that I am, but it just irks me that as soon as they make a character worth watching they kill them off.

It's.... it's.... it's ...shameless TV formula, and I thought Lost was above that. Silly me. Last time I expect to be surprised by TV.

Ah well, that's Boone gone, now Shannon gone. At least they didn't get rid of Michael. That would have really pissed me off.

You may now proceed to make fun of me in the comments...
User Journal

Journal: To Telemachus... (and a small word from the author) 4

Journal by Cliff
[First, let me take a moment to say thanks to a grateful reader.]

Telemachus (nee "frugalRepairs"): No, your story is exactly the reason that Ask Slashdot exists. I don't feel that there's been any "reversion" at all, and I'm glad you got your hard drive installed successfully! I hope your first hard drive replace has built up your confidence enough so that you will continue to tinker with more hardware.

You can never be to old to become a computer geek, no matter what everyone else says. Men aren't dogs, and can learn new tricks whenever they set their minds to it.

Thanks for the question, and thank you again for the gracious "Thank you" note. (Is that enough thanks, yet?) -- It's readers like you that are the reason I get up and do this job.

Take care!

[ ...now back to your regularly scheduled dead journal space... ]

Seriously folks. Ask Slashdot exists to help the entire range of users, and while I try (and many times fail) to prevent the rank and file of FAQs. Soemtimes "Google" only gives you part of the answer (and many times gives you too large of a haystack in which to find your needle). As always, if you don't like the content, or feel that the stories presented are "beneath" you, feel free to move on to other aspects of the site, or better yet, to submit your own questions to "up the ante" of quality to Ask Slashdot. I have no problems with criticism (even harsh criticism), just as long as it's helpful.

Mindless flames, as always, will be routed to /dev/null...
User Journal

Journal: [POLITICS: Florida, 2004] Oh, no..... 5

Journal by Cliff
...not again!

It's not just that Corrine Brown was censured (although it can be argued, by most diabolical logic, that there was a valid reason for her censure, but this country is already falling along a slippery slope when it comes to fairness in our elections. Florida has had years to get this straightened out, and yet here we are, not even in the home stretch and already rumblings of wrongdoing are being reported by the press. I should be encouraged, however. It is getting reported, which is a far cry from the deafening silence that was experienced before and after the 2000 election. I can only hope that eyes continue to remain on Florida and other states where such shenanigans may be likely, and that the scrutiny applied to the American Voting Process as a whole remains everpresent.

One wonders what might happen if another Florida-like scandal occurs in "Decision 2004".

Odds are, it won't be pleasant.
User Journal

Journal: Collaborative JE Fiction 9

Journal by Cliff
OK, Sam -- here we go! A while ago, I was impressed by RDewald and a piece of off-the-cuff fiction and it reminded me of an old excercise that I used to engage in from my BBS days:

Collaborative Fiction

So I was wondering who would be interested in such an experiment, here on Slashdot, in our journals?

The way I was thinking about doing it is this. We'll try a short story, for a test. If we like doing it, we can try and get more ambitious until we get bored with it. I have a few guidelines to start us off, and am welcoming suggestions from those who are interested.

First off, the list of guidelines, I've thought of:
  • As stated, let's start off with a short story to see how well this works. Depending on the number of participants, we'll do [n] chapters of [n] parts, where [n] is the number of participants. If we get a large number of folks interested in this, we'll limit the number of chapters to 5-10 -- whatever you guys decide.
  • Anything goes in the genre. It will be interesting to see how it starts and how well some of us can weave our characters together into a cohesive plot.
  • Anything goes with your own characters. Treat them as you see fit, however no writing out someone else's characters. You can back them into a wall, but leave the owner a way out (and we're all friends here -- I hope -- so in the interest of drama, if you write a cliffhanger, please communicate with the character owner your intent). Characters whom their creators wash their hands of are free game.
  • We can lay out the story chapters in several different ways. For consistency, however, each part from each different participant will start off as a comment in the journal that starts each chapter. As each part is fleshed out and adjusted in the comments, the JE entry that holds the chapter will be updated with the new text.
  • Chapters can appear here, or we can alternate who starts what chapter among the participants in the comments attached to the previous chapter.
  • Let's get the arrangement and clarifications out of the way, first, before we officially start writing anything.
  • I would have liked to open this up to everyone, but in the interest of focus, I've marked this journal as "Friends and FoFs" -- this will probably be the recommended setting for each chapter unless the majority of you feel differently.

That's all I can think of right now. Let the discussion begin. I'll update this JE with suggestions, ideas and conclusions that get hashed out in the discussion.

Have at it, everyone! :D

_______________________________
So far so good, 3 people have expressed interest:

  • johndiii
  • SamTheButcher
  • Em Emalb
User Journal

Journal: An Inventory of Misleading BushAdmin Quotes on a .Gov Site! 36

Journal by Cliff
When .gov sites like these start showing up, can the Independent Counsels be that far behind?

Well...yes! That particular law was encouraged to expire, and eventually did, on June 30th, 1999.

Still, it makes one wonder what the Justice Department is doing with the resonsibility it reassumed, with the death of the Independent Council Act. Why do we have a website made by the House of Representatives pointing out misleading comments by officials, that led to a war, instead of attempts at impeachments or censure for these same officials?

Hopefully the appearance of such sites means that someone is taking steps to make sure the current administration comes clean on the reasons they were made, in the first place. When such statements lead an invasion of a foreign country, in a war sold on false pretences, I would hope that someone would seek to find those responsible and make them answer to the American people as to why the trust we have place in them, to lead this country, has been so betrayed.

It's not that I want the Independent Counsel act to be reinstated, as was called for by Lieberman to investigate the Plame Affair. It has been used as a partisan weapon once too many times, with the taxpayers footing the bill of political prosecution after political prosecution. However it seems that this administration has been able to coast by on many questionable issues during its run, and in an Election Year, it is high time this administration becomes accountable for the things it has done, during its tenure in power.

Will this happen? Only time will tell...

"Bureaucracy is the enemy of innovation." -- Mark Shepherd, former President and CEO of Texas Instruments

Working...