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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

User Journal

Journal: SJWs 15 minutes of fame is almost over. 50

Journal by BarbaraHudson

I'm pretty sure that the whole "Social Justice Warrior" thing is dying. Going like a rabid dog at the stupidest provocations gets old fast. SJWs generally go for emotional reactions from others, same as trolls. No wonder that more and more we're feeling like we're all being trolled.

Still, some people will take offense at the slightest disagreement - like my latest foe. Go figure.

Maybe we should have a week with NO stories about gender imbalance anywhere. Just for a break to let people get a chance to catch their breath and get a bit of perspective.

User Journal

Journal: Strange way to quit drinking coffee 7

Journal by BarbaraHudson

Today I woke up and I felt I was more or less back to my old self. At 6 months duration, this was the worst depressive episode ever, and I had been fearing that was the way things were going to be from now on. On Tuesday, I noticed something a bit different, but didn't dare hope. Wednesday I was walking my dog and when he brushed up against me and I petted him, I think that was the first time in ages that I had a real smile. Considering I didn't even have the energy to walk him since I don't know, it was good.

The side effects of the meds are still there, but if I have to live with them, it could be worse.

Looking back, I've lost / missed a lot in 6 months.

On the positive side, I used to drink half a pot of coffee at breakfast to try to combat the depression-induced drowsiness, and the rest (and then some) during the day. It wasn't working so last month I decided to stop drinking coffee. There was one cup left in the coffee maker, so I drank it, and that was it. I don't miss it, which is strange considering coffee has been there since my first job ever.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to put the coffee maker and kettle away, freeing up more counter space. There was enough coffee in the coffee can to make two cups, so I said "why not, rather than have it go to waste?" Ick! Turns out I don't even like coffee any more.

Of course, in my life there's always another "shoe to drop", but until then, I intend to be happy :-)

Still, with half a year gone in some mental "fog", I'm going to hope the next time is far, far, away. And I hope everyone else has as good a Friday the 13th.

User Journal

Journal: What do I have to enable now? Fucking DICE. 5

Journal by drinkypoo

Welp, I can use Slashdot in Chrome and not in Firefox, which implies that something I'm blocking in Firefox is preventing the new improved Slashdot from working. What new spyware bullshit do I have to enable to use Slashdot now? Thanks, DICE! You'll run this place the rest of the way into the ground any day now.

User Journal

Journal: Lollipop as bad as I feared

Journal by BarbaraHudson

When I looked at the development docs for Lollipop, my reaction to their "material design" was "this is going to be a problem." After updating to it and playing around for 15 minutes, I'm not impressed.

Simplifying stuff too much doesn't make it easier to tell what something does. The bottom icons, for example, are now a triangle, a circle, and a square. It's even harder visually to tell if a toggle is on or off. The phone app has been downgraded again in terms of screen real estate, showing even fewer speed dial entries w/o scrolling, and they really need to check their spelling.The tabs are "SPEED DIAL | RECENTS | CONTACTS" Come on, "recent" is an adjective. It modifies the noun, which can be singular or plural. You wouldn't write "RECENTS CALL", would you?

The low contrast between text and backgrounds might be "stylish", but good design would have form follow function. Making stuff harder to read, even with huge fonts? Don't do me no favors, mkay. And the on-screen keyboard ... yuck.

Some horizontal tabs are now partially off-screen. so unless you knew what they were before the update, you'll have to guess. Switching from Dalvik to ART (Android RunTime) was an option in Kitkat 4.4.4. Now it's not just the default - there is no option to go back to Dalvik as the runtime.

Is it faster? Not that I can tell. Going from the lock screen to whatever app was last opened is definitely slower - probably because of the fancy-pants wipe with an arc in it. It's not all negative, though. Maps now has moved the Directions and Explore buttons to the map itself rather than having to go through a menu.

But their "Material Design" doesn't bring anything materially better to the table.

User Journal

Journal: Revolution 60: A game review I can get behind. 1

Journal by BarbaraHudson
This review of Revolution 60 sounds like it was written by me. But I can assure you, it's not. Exerpts:

an insipid, stumbling, humorless mess of a game that should never have left the brainstorming stage - the kind of game social justice warriors insist everyone wants to see, but in reality, the reaction seems to be put that thing back where it came from or so help me.


the problems start with our main characters. You play as Holiday, an assassin in a painted-on catsuit who rides a motorcycle and has no personality other than the current demands of the plot. The rest of her team consists of a handful of one-dimensional TV Tropes personalities shoved into the shells of life-sized, dead-eyed Polly Pocket dolls whose only purpose seems to be to give Holiday something to do other than be Generic Badass #624.

on the crappy graphics

Iâ(TM)ve seen some pretty shitty graphics in my time gaming, and that includes the old PS1 games where Cloud Strifeâ(TM)s hands looked like muffins and Lara Croftâ(TM)s boobs could slice butter in July. Thatâ(TM)s shitty by todayâ(TM)s standards, but back then, we didnâ(TM)t know any better! Wu had 4 years and a $500,000 budget to make a game. Unless she was making it for the PS1, thereâ(TM)s no excuse for this.

the sexist stereotypes of women

So, what does our strong female protagonist look like? Surely sheâ(TM)s not in any way oversexualized or drawn in a way that makes her look like an alien had a one night stand with a Blood Elf â" AAAAAAAAAH!. This shit looks like some creep from Second Life just figured out how to use the morphing tool.

âoeDiversity and female empowerment!â cries Miss Wu as she aggressively designs a group of expressionless, hourglass-shaped white girls with less personality than the cockroach from Wall-E. For a game designer whoâ(TM)s all about making a game thatâ(TM)s supposed to be eliminating hypersexuality and glorifying/representing women in a mature way, Wu seems a little too comfortable putting her military soldiers into skin-tight, formfitting outfits with no armor and laughably short skirts/pants. They all have the same skin color and hourglass shape with ample boobs, long legs, perfect hair, and perpetual duckface.

So, tell us how you REALLY feel ...

Revolution 60 is offensive â" and the worst part is that it was created to have the opposite effect. It offends me as a gamer that someone would think that this sort of crap would fly just because an all-woman team made it, and it offends me as a woman because Iâ(TM)m here to play games, not to be pandered to. And Iâ(TM)m sure as fuck not going to identify with a game meant to represent my gender when the characters have about as much personality as a piece of styrofoam. My verdict? Complete and utter shit.

There's more - about the crappy game play, the crappy voice acting, the crappy enemies, the crappy "world" ... you get the picture :-)

User Journal

Journal: Anatomy Of A Stalker 6

Journal by BarbaraHudson

Kathy Rowe really knows how to stalk someone - both online and in real life.

Some of the techniques she used against the couple:

  • signing the targets up to magazine subscriptions
  • sending them $1,200 worth of adult diapers
  • posting ads for fake parties at their home
  • leaving their photographs on sex websites.
  • listing their house for sale
  • leaflets neighbors warning that a sex offender had moved onto their street
  • romantic Valentineâ(TM)s Day cards to wives in the neighborhood pretending to be signed by Mr. Rice
  • online ad inviting high school teenagers to a New Yearâ(TM)s Eve party at their home
  • online ad for July 4, giving their address for a fake "free fireworks" giveaway
  • internet posts advertising sex with the wife.
  • responding to an ad by pretending to be the wife by sending her address to one man instructing: "I like to be surprised and have a man just show up at the door and force his way in the door."
  • posting the wife's picture under the heading "Carmel Valley Freak Show. Come see me during the day while my husband is at work."
  • yet another response to an online ad - "Will make it extra wild and worth your time."

And people (mostly pretend to) freak out when someone publishes their address online (easily obtainable by pretty much anyone).

User Journal

Journal: Zoe Quinn's Depression Quest Is No More 3

Journal by BarbaraHudson

Remember Zoe Quinn and her claim to being a game developer because she used a flip-book template generator to make that totally awful Depression Quest? Well, expired the day before Valentine's Day. It's in the "pending deletion" phase. Clicking on it brings you to the notice that it's expired.

Just letting everyone know so that maybe someone can put something more, shall we say, "entertaining" there because there are a LOT of links to that site.

User Journal

Journal: Fraud and marketing wearable medical devices 2

Journal by BarbaraHudson
A company called DexCon is trying to market a wearable glucose sensor, which is all nice and good, except I smell a (few) rats.

"Diabetics really donâ(TM)t want others to know they have diabetes," said Valdes, adding that individuals with the condition check their blood-sugar levels approximately 50 times a day.

First, anyone with insulin-dependent diabetes is told to advise friends, teachers, and co-workers so that in the event of a hypoglycemic event people don't do the wrong thing, don't panic, etc. And they won't wonder why you're munching something high in sugar during a class, meeting, or other activities.

Second, 50 times a day? Get real. Drop the zero and you're more likely in the ballpark for those who test often, though if they're stable, many people do a morning check, and if all's good, just maintain their original injection schedule to the next day. Then every few weeks or when the morning test shows something out of whack, or they're sick, test at every meal and bedtime for a week to make sure everything is stable. 50 times a day would cost about $18,000, just for the test strips. It would also mean testing 3x an hour 16 hours a day. This is just hype to make the device, which costs more than using test strips, look less like a huge increase in both initial and ongoing costs.

Third, what's really funny is that if you search around on the net, you still have to do at least two old-style prick-the-finger tests a day to give the device a baseline to work from. And the sensor isn't in the watch - you have to inject it into your body and keep it there. The sensor is expensive and wears out. As do the batteries in the transmitter to the watch.

So, less accuracy, higher cost, more inconvenience, and a healthy dose of misinformation and a few lies? Not even if you gave me one with 6 months free.

And hey, it's fugly (read the comments from a user who notes you still have to do the finger stick 2x a day anyway). Have fun protecting the adhesive tape while taking a bath, shower, or swim.

User Journal

Journal: Keep burning those modpoints, punk 4

Journal by drinkypoo

User Journal

Journal: Canadians have a constitutional right to assisted suicide: Supreme court 5

Journal by BarbaraHudson

The big news up here was the long-awaited decision on doctor-assisted suicide. In 1993, a woman (Sue Rodriguez) with Lou Gehrig's Disease argued before the supreme court that she should be allowed to have a willing doctor help her end her life. The decision was 5-4 against her.

22 years later, the question again made it to the supreme court, and the judges unanimously upheld the right for people to have help in taking their own lives..

The B.C. court ruled at the same time that the federal government must draft new legislation within a year that conforms with Canadians' rights under the Constitution. Smith deemed the existing law unconstitutional because it unfairly deprives people with degenerative illnesses of their liberty, and because it discriminates against those with a physical disability who might need assistance to exercise their right to take their own life.

The federal government appealed the ruling, taking the battle to the B.C. Court of Appeal, which held hearings in March 2013 and overturned the lower court's ruling seven months later.

The BCCLA then asked the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal of that ruling, arguing criminal laws that deny seriously ill Canadians the right to choose an assisted death are unconstitutional, and the issue is of profound national importance.

More here

In a brief, powerful opening paragraph, the court explained why it was creating a new constitutional right to autonomy over oneâ(TM)s death in some circumstances: Those who are severely and irremediably suffering, whether physically or psychologically, "may be condemned to a life of severe and intolerable suffering" by the governmentâ(TM)s absolute ban on assisted dying. "A person facing this prospect has two options: she can take her own life prematurely, often by violent or dangerous means, or she can suffer until she dies from natural causes. The choice is cruel."

The decision was signed by The Court, which happens occasionally when the justices wish to lend their decisions extra weight. The nine judges, who range in age from mid-50s to 74, dismissed the notion that competent adults cannot consent to their death. "We do not agree that the existential formulation of the right to life requires an absolute prohibition on assistance in dying, or that individuals cannot 'waive' their right to life. This would create a 'duty to live,'"" the ruling says.

Interestingly enough, the court went even further

"The prohibition on physician-assisted dying infringes on the right to life, liberty and security of the person in a manner that is not in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice," the nine justices flatly asserted.

The judgment -- left unsigned to reflect the unanimous institutional weight of the court -- gives Parliament a year to draft new legislation that recognizes the right of clearly consenting adults who are enduring intolerable physical or mental suffering to seek medical help in ending their lives.

It does not limit physician-assisted death to those suffering a terminal illness


Two decades ago, the court was concerned that vulnerable persons could not be properly protected under physician-assisted suicide, even though courts recognized the existing law infringed a person's rights.

But the experience of existing jurisdictions that permit doctor-assisted dying compelled the courts to examine the record.

"An individual's response to a grievous and irremediable medical condition is a matter critical to their dignity and autonomy," says the judgment.

"The law allows people in this situation to request palliative sedation, refuse artificial nutrition and hydration, or request the removal of life-sustaining medical equipment, but denies the right to request a physician's assistance in dying."

The 69-page judgment avoids the term "suicide" throughout, using instead the less morally freighted "death" and "dying."

The court also weighed in on the "existential formulation" of right to life, which it said is not the same as a "duty to live." Imposing a duty to live, said the court, "would call into question the legality of any consent to the withdrawal or refusal of lifesaving or life-sustaining treatment."

So there you have it - anyone who is subject to extreme and non-remedial suffering (physical or mental) has the right to have a doctor help them to die.

For those who want to read the actual judgment, here you go

User Journal

Journal: Yay, I made an idiot angry! 8

Journal by drinkypoo

Then they modded down five of my comments in a row. Why doesn't the system catch this kind of obviously abusive moderation? Oh right, because this is slashdot, not someplace with competent employees.

If moderation on slashdot were intelligently designed, this person's abusive moderation would have been autodetected and they would have been banned from moderation permanently.

User Journal

Journal: Free Trade starting to unravel. 20

Journal by BarbaraHudson

If you read the story about Obama proposes one-time tax on 2 trillion US companies hold overseas, you may have missed that this is the proverbial shot across the bow of international free trade agreements.

Free trade hasn't worked, in part because it isn't really free trade, but mostly because it encouraged the flight of jobs and investment to the economies that were most able to provide the least protection for their workers - the "rush to the bottom."

More civilized countries can't compete with countries that protect employers who keep their workers working in unsafe conditions. You can't compete against companies and countries that profit from illegal working conditions due to non-existent enforcement. Not much has changed since the 1,127 dead in one garment factory collapse in Bangladesh, because businesses can say "if we have to leave any meat on the bone we'll move the jobs elsewhere".

Working conditions in the $20 billion industry are grim, a result of government corruption, desperation for jobs, and industry indifference. Minimum wages for garment workers are among the lowest in the world at 3,000 takas ($38) a month.

Bangladeshâ(TM)s government has in recent years cracked down on unions attempting to organize garment workers. In 2010 the government launched an Industrial Police force to crush street protests by thousands of workers demanding better pay and working conditions.

This 2 trillion tax is just the latest form of a "non-tariff barrier", but even the EU is insisting that tax avoidance schemes come to an end. Reality is finally setting in.

User Journal

Journal: Now that was fun. 12

Journal by BarbaraHudson

In January I got 20 stories on the front page. It was a distraction to hunt around for something interesting every day. And distraction is a good thing, because when I'm not distracted, everything still feels pointless. Depression sucks.

I am a computer. I am dumber than any human and smarter than any administrator.