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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).


Comment: Oh how the mighty have fallen... (Score 1) 219

by FunWithKnives (#37419878) Attached to: On the topic of computer power consumption ...
Just stopping in to state the obvious: Slashdot polls completely blow now. No CowboyNeal option, but further than that, not even a single tongue-in-cheek humorous one. Way to take a page from Facebook marketing polls Slashdot! What companies are these results being sold to anyway?

Comment: In the words of one of my inspirations... (Score 1) 1521

by FunWithKnives (#37206560) Attached to: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda Resigns From Slashdot
"Good night, and good luck..."

Don't like the new layout, the editors screw up far too often, the polls have become eerily akin to the marketing polls that pop up from time to time in the right column on Facebook, and my list of complaints goes on - but for all of that, I stick around because at its heart Slashdot has been one tech geek's blog about stuff he finds interesting. With Rob gone though, I honestly don't know how much longer I'll be reading. Emo as it sounds, CmdrTaco is the heart of this place, and without him there is the very real possibility that it will become (even more of) a shell of what it once was. For now I'm gonna dutifully keep my homepage set to "" in Opera and Firefox, and hope it stays that way. We'll see.

Rob, thanks for all those years of doling out news for us nerds; as much as we all whine and bitch, I think I can safely speak for the majority when I say that in the end we still appreciate it. To conclude, only two words exist that adequately express the solemnity and gravity of this event:


Oregon To Let Students Use Spell Check on State Exams 235 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the is-there-a-proofreader-in-the-house? dept.
Starting in 2011, the Oregon Department of Education will let students spell check their work before submitting state exams. From the article: "The move is supposed to help the assessments focus less on typos and more on their writing skills. 'We are not letting a student's keyboarding skills get in the way of being able to judge their writing ability,' said state Superintendent Susan Castillo. 'As we're using technology to improve what we're doing with assessments as a nation, we believe that spell check will be one of those tools.'"

Feeling Upset? Look At Some Meat 155

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-calming-power-of-beef dept.
Meshach writes "A study out of Canada claims that seeing meat actually calms a person down. From the article: 'Contrary to expectations, a McGill University researcher has discovered that seeing meat makes people significantly less aggressive. Frank Kachanoff, who studies evolution at the university’s department of psychology, had initially thought the presence of meat would provoke bloodlust, believing the response would have helped our primate ancestors hunt. But in fact, his research showed the reverse is true.'" I can see all the "Make Steak, Not War!" protest signs already.

Comment: Re:Human nature strikes again (Score 1) 289

by FunWithKnives (#32973742) Attached to: Facebook User Satisfaction Is 'Abysmal'
Facebook allows you to communicate with almost anyone you have ever known, for free.

That certainly doesn't mean that users should be dissuaded from voicing satisfaction (or in this case, lack of) with its interface or the company's policies and implementations. Those who use Facebook are still customers, whether or not doing so is technically "free." Without customers, the service is nothing.

Comment: Stupid Words and "Paleolithic" Media. (Score 3, Insightful) 426

by FunWithKnives (#32544108) Attached to: New York Times Bans Use of Word "Tweet"
Good on Mr. Corbett. I've held the same view since Twitter came along. "Tweet," "tweeting," "tweeted" - all completely ridiculous words conjured up for no good reason. For that matter, however, I consider Twitter itself to be completely fucking ridiculous, so perhaps my bias runs deeper than simple grammar.

"... Of course, it is also possible that social media sites will elbow paleolithic media into oblivion, and Mr. Corbett will no longer have to worry about word use..."

Nice snarky little jab there, but I find the notion of social networking sites supplanting established mass media and news to be as far-fetched as it is reprehensible. Maybe they work on a grassroots level as a bit of a 'complement' to traditional news, but other than that I see no indication whatsoever of them holding their own vis-à-vis peer review, integrity, fact-checking or social responsibility. If this does indeed happen (personally I believe the submitter was just grasping at straws), I'll hold even less hope for humanity in general than I already do, and that ain't much.

Comment: Re:President Obama (Score 1) 438

by FunWithKnives (#32400076) Attached to: BP Knew of Deepwater Horizon Problems 11 Months Ago
If I remember correctly, corporate charters were revoked many times in the early days of the country.

Now that these beasts have grown so immensely and have their tentacles not only in our government but governments throughout the world, I imagine it barely happens anymore.

However that doesn't mean that BP management can't (or shouldn't) be held responsible. They deserve due process of course, but if, through litigation, criminal negligence (or malice) is determined to have taken place and they are found to have been the parties responsible, then they need to spend the rest of their lives in prison, a la Enron. Ken Lay was sentenced to 45 years for securities and wire fraud, for goodness sake. We're not talking about simple fraud here (though that may very well have taken place), we're talking about eleven potential homicides and the destruction of the entire gulf coast, and consequently the coastal environments/economies in at least four states.

Someone must be held to task for this mess.

Comment: School for the upper-classes inddeed. (Score 1) 1138

by FunWithKnives (#32216130) Attached to: Too Many College Graduates?
What's sad is that what you consider to be sarcasm, someone else (possibly in a position of great authority and influence) actually considers to be logical argument. Our values have been skewed radically in this country. It is quite disillusioning.

As for the supposed outrageous subsidization of our public universities, I can only speak anecdotally. I'm in my senior year at the University of South Carolina, and I am honestly beginning to fear that I may not graduate on time, simply because certain required classes are now being cut due to lack of funding. Adjunct professors have all but disappeared in the last couple of semesters, and student organizations across the board are experiencing drastic budget cuts. Some haven't survived. Tuition here has been raised at a higher percentage than ever before, though the most recent hike was thankfully rather modest in comparison to previous ones. These economists can talk out of their asses all they want about how we're spending too many tax dollars on public higher education institutions, but what I'm seeing here on the ground, at least in the state I currently reside in, leads me to conclude the complete opposite.

If these people have something against federal educational grants (of which I am one of many thankful recipients), then they should make a specific argument against them, but they shouldn't lump our largely state-funded institutions in with that argument.

Comment: Re:Silly management (Score 1) 837

by FunWithKnives (#30588064) Attached to: Uniforms For the Help Desk?
While I agree with the gist of your statement, I fail to understand how exactly you come by the following:

... can't get rid of them due to union rules and stuff...

How many Information Technology unions do you know of out there? So far as I'm aware there are precious few, and those which do exist maintain low membership (and therefore weak bargaining power) at best.

Also, as a bit of an aside, what does the nebulous "and stuff" that bolstered our hypothetical dittohead in his or her promotion from IT grunt to middle management consist of?

Comment: Re:Screw'em! (Score 1) 330

by FunWithKnives (#28745875) Attached to: Online Forum Leads To Hostile Workplace Lawsuit
"Reverse-discrimination" is an oxymoron. It is a nonsensical term that makes no sense whatsoever. The reverse of discrimination is tolerance. Discrimination is discrimination regardless of the recipient's age, race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, et cetera. I understand the point that is being made, but that is no reason to create an utterly ridiculous, almost non-sequitur-like phrase. Being that you've put it in quotations yourself I do not know what you make of it, and my statement is not assuming either way. I have simply noticed this absurdity repeated on news channels and in other venues recently, and it appears to be gaining a sort of traction. Honestly, if Stephen Colbert satirizes it, that should say something.

DRM Group Set To Phase Out "Analog Hole" 417

Posted by kdawson
from the next-we-encrypt-the-output-of-your-optic-nerve dept.
eldavojohn writes "In yet another bid to make your life a little more annoying, our DRM overlords at the AACS Licensing Authority have released a new AACS Adopter Agreement. The riveting, 188-page PDF will inform you that — in the name of Digital Rights Management — there will be new limitations set on devices that decrypt Blu-Ray discs. HDMI already has the awesome encryption of HDCP between the device and the display unit. But Blu-Ray still has the Achilles heel of analog players that allow someone to merely re-encode the analog signal back to an unencrypted digital format. So if you have an analog HDTV, hang on to those analog decoders and hope they never break; by 2013 you won't be able to buy a new one. Ars points out the inherent stupidity in this charade: 'Particularly puzzling is the fact that plugging the so-called "analog hole" won't stop direct digital ripping, enabled by software such as AnyDVD HD. And even the MPAA itself recommends using a camcorder pointed at a TV as a way to make fair use copies, creating another analog hole.' And so the cat and mouse game continues. On that subject, DVD Jon's legit company just brought out a billboard ad for his product doubleTwist next to Apple's San Fransisco store. It reads, 'The Cure for iPhone Envy. Your iTunes library on any device. In seconds.' So while he's busy taunting Apple, I'm certain there are others who might have some free time to look at Blu-Ray and the 'uncrackable' AACS."

Comment: Why the hell... (Score 1) 500

by FunWithKnives (#27934199) Attached to: McDonalds Free Wi-Fi Users Soak Up Seating
Does Slashdot suddenly have an icon for McDonalds, of all things? All fast food is shit, but McDonalds is the king of shit. Why did someone decide to take the time, whether it was a minute or an hour, to create an icon for that shithole? Just resize a stock photo of some fat-ass walking down the street and call it a day.

McDonalds Free Wi-Fi Users Soak Up Seating 500 Screenshot-sm

Posted by samzenpus
from the super-size-my-connection dept.
bfire writes "McDonalds has earmarked potential changes to seating plans in some restaurants to prevent free Wi-Fi users from monopolizing seating, particularly in peak periods. The availability of Wi-Fi means people are now spending 35 minutes in McDonalds — rather than the average ten minutes that patrons used to spend eating there. But it appears not everyone is happy with the increased 'stickiness' of customers, with some licensees in Australia reporting that Wi-Fi users aren't turning over seats fast enough. The restaurant chain is considering options including space demarcation to deal with the problem."

Any program which runs right is obsolete.