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Journal Journal: Trump - a warning from the present 6

I don't believe for a second Trump believes a word he's saying.

What I am concerned about is that Trump could, very realistically, be elected because of the views he's espousing. That says something terrible about too many people at the moment, and also makes possible the frightening scenario whereby someone who believes what Trump is currently saying could be elected too.

In the mean time, Trump is also validating the opinions of many extremists.


Journal Journal: Capituation 17

Just a rather obvious observation that nobody seems willing to make. Responding to a terrorist event by banning people who are trying to escape those terrorists does not hurt the terrorists in the slightest. It's actually what they want.

And giving terrorists what they want generally doesn't stop terrorism.

The Military

Journal Journal: There's a reason it's called Terrorism, not Endofcivilizationism. 30

For the next few days, weeks, months, the usual suspects will channel their fears and hatred towards both those who murdered in France two days ago, and those who disagree with them on how to tackle it. They'll whip themselves up into a hatred-filled frenzy against those who are unfortunate enough to share the same religion as the terrorists, and they'll blow the "threat" up out of all proportion.

These people are simply stupid. Don't get angry at them, ignore them. They're victims of terrorism in its purest sense - they're the people shitting their pants at what just transpired, in a way nobody in Paris, New York, or London is doing, or will do. They're weak, scared, and pathetic, and they're lashing out at everyone from ordinary Muslims to Liberals because ISIL just played them like a violin.

Tomorrow is another day. It'll be like Tuesday of last week, except there'll be 150 or so fewer people to enjoy it thanks to a group of religious extremists who represent nobody but themselves. We'll miss those who are gone, but life goes on. Dealing with those who cause such horrors involves reason and human decency. ISIL's plan involves us having neither. Their success requires we have neither.

But we're better than they are.


Journal Journal: Pale Moon

I broke down and installed Pale Moon as my default browser. For those who haven't heard of it, it's Firefox 3.x with updates.

Comments so far? Well, it seems snappy, but then most browsers do if they don't have any crud from a year's worth of browsing sessions. Compatability looks OK. Memory usage is not off the wall but not awesome either - I've suspected for a while that the out-of-control memory usage of Firefox has more to do with how Javascript is being used these days than anything Firefox itself is doing.


Journal Journal: Media bias 8

It has to be said, in defence of the whole "Lieberal media" nonsense, that the media has been telling a lot of lies about Ben Carson recently, albeit most of which sourced from his autobiography.


Journal Journal: No President Lessig 3

So Larry's dropped out of the race. This is because the Democratic Party are totally unfair, because they said someone needs to have more than 1% of the vote for a slightly more sustained period of time than Lessig could manage.

In other words, the Democratic Party didn't want to waste anyone's time with clear no-hopers who were only running to use their debates and a convention as a platform.

I'm with the Democratic Party on this, for two reasons. One is I agree with them. The other is quite simply that tech does not currently deserve a place in polite society when it comes to discussing the major social issues of our time.

If we're still throwing tantrums in 2015 because we can't call Anita Sarkeesian the C-word on a Go language mailing list, then as an industry we need some deep introspection, and we need to ask ourselves why the hell such a small band of lucky, privileged, individuals as ourselves (we're overpaid for work we love, be honest) are fundamentally incapable of dealing with people less fortunate than ourselves.

Lessig is the only Democratic Party candidate worthy of having his speeches interrupted by BLM. That's how terrible we are.


Journal Journal: Bye Biden 1

I don't think it's a coincidence that Biden's announced he'll not be running immediately after two polls suggesting that the pundits, not the loudest Internet critics, were apparently right about who "won" last week's debate. As I've said, I think Biden was solely hanging around to handle the chance Clinton would lose to Sanders. That... doesn't appear to be happening.

Maybe it's too early to tell, but I really don't buy a Sanders victory. Although I'm tempted to get the HD DVD journal entry out just to use its awesome power to upset the status quo.


No that would be wrong. With great power comes great responsibility. If it were important that Sanders win, I would consider it. But it is not. Sorry Berniphiles, but we need something better than the Democrats answer to Ron Effing Paul.

User Journal

Journal Journal: To the cow guy...

kgiii@kgiii-desktop-8:~$ fortune | cowsay >> /home/kgiii/Documents/moo.txt

kgiii@kgiii-desktop-8:~$ leafpad /home/kgiii/Documents/moo.txt

/ Just because the message may never be \
| received does not mean it is not worth |
\ sending. /
                \ ^__^
                  \ (oo)\_______
                    (__)\ )\/\
                      ||----w |
                      || ||

How very appropriate. Formatting is a bit screwed but still appropriate.

User Journal

Journal Journal: So who won the debate? (Updated: Clinton) 1

Update Oct 20th 2015: No serious answers from you people, but it appears at any rate to be Clinton who won the debate. Most votes are coming at Biden's expense (and Biden isn't even running) but Sanders is essentially treading water at this point.

Media consensus: Hills.
Internet consensus and every single poll: The Bern.

Anyone who actually watched it have an opinion?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Vivaldi - it's not that bad.

I've been playing with Vivaldi a little bit lately. It is a pretty interesting concept and one I've not really seen before. Much of it is written in HTML5, it's fairly easy to customize, and has a lot of interesting features. It is currently in the Technical Preview Stage, consider it more of a concept, and there are plenty of bugs but it's workable and has some traits not seen in other browsers.

Probably the most interesting one is that here, on this site, it matches the green color that is Slashdot. Yes, it's just colors itself like a chameleon depending on where you are. You can, it seems, also change the colors on your own but I've not actually looked into that.

It currently takes a bit of work to get extensions installed but the extensions from Chrome (and also Opera) should all work just fine with it. It's built on the same code base as Chromium. Which means it also inherits some of the Chromium problems. Currently, for example, there's no H.264 support for Linux users and the work-around for Opera probably won't work for Vivaldi.

There's no switch to disable hardware acceleration so you'll need to start it from the terminal until Chromium gets off their asses and gets that squared away (the problem is upstream). You can start it from the terminal with:

vivaldi --disable-gpu-compositing

Give it a shot. You might find it interesting and, as it is still early in development, you may be able to help guide them into crafting a browser that meets your needs. Also, they're giving away free webmail but, really, who doesn't already have enough webmail accounts available? I can only assume that it will support POP3 and IMAP later in life.

What say you, Slashdot? Can we screw it up beyond belief? Yes we can! Seriously, give it a shot. You might find it an interesting browser. I'll keep playing with it for now.

United States

Journal Journal: The other car 11

President Clinton - GWB's fifth term. The continuation of everything from the partisan insanity to the continuation of the post-9/11 war-on-humanity. Rating: *OHMYHELL*.

President Sanders - the establishment isn't going to let this happen unless it somehow becomes extremely difficult to stop him AND the Republicans put up either Rand Paul or Donald Trump. Pretty much anyone else from the Republicans, even a deranged religious nutcase, will result in "something" happening to Sanders, be it an invented scandal or an assassination. If he ever makes it into office (thanks Trump) then he'll be cut off politically pretty early on and won't get a second term. *OHWELL*

President Biden - the best we can hope for (which is a terrible thing to say, I guess, but at least Biden has a certain amount of respect from both sides, but I don't see him stopping the post-9/11 thing), but let's be honest, it's getting a little late for him to jump on board even if Clinton starts to falter. *OHWELL*

Me, I'll probably vote Sanders or Biden. At least the latter likes passenger trains.


Journal Journal: So... Windows 10 1

The supposed pattern of Windows releases is similar to Star Trek movies, bad, good, bad, good. This doesn't make a lot of sense, I mean, Windows 1 was innovative but not exactly going to set the world on fire. Windows 2 was better, but again wasn't going to set the world on fire. Windows 3 was an incremental improvement on Windows 2 (largely code clean up, some minor fixes such as Program Manager) and, uh, set the world on Fire.

OK, fast forward. There's 95 (Yay), 98 (Boo.. . wait, yay.), Me (Booo), XP (Yay though I don't know why, I personally couldn't stand it), Vista (Booo), 7 (Yay), and...

OK, there really isn't a pattern there is there?

OK, OK, get on with it:

So, anyway, people have been saying "Well, 8 was a dud, therefore 10 will great and set the world on fire."

Is it me, or is Windows 10 a slow bug ridden piece of crap that's actually more like Vista was to XP than Windows 7 to Windows Vista?

Windows 8.x wasn't perfect. But it wasn't slow. It was relatively stable, not as stable as 7, but for the most part stable. The only problem with it (which admittedly was huge) was the lack of a Start menu.

Windows 10 seems ambitious, but it's ambitious in a Vista way, and I think they released it way too early and didn't really care about the consequences of half their decisions. My tablet crashes (rebooting) periodically, it didn't before. The laptop I've been trying it on is chronically slow, so slow I can boot up my Ubuntu laptop in the time it takes to get the lock screen to start recognizing key strokes after I've unsuspended it.

The features of 10 are hit and miss, with some, such as Cortana, being very impressive and completely useless, and others being a giant step back on what we had before. Mobile Office seems decent, albeit buggy. Mail will be excellent when it's finished and the numerous bugs are squished (same for other bundled groupware apps.) Edge appears to only exist because "Internet Explorer" had a bad reputation, but it's hardly feature complete, and to make sure we use it, we Windows 8.x tablet users lost our actually-pretty-good (and secure! No ActiveX!) version of IE for tablets. Why? Why remove that before you have the same features in Edge? And what about the extent to which many apps are reliant upon (unnecessary - I'm talking Freecell here!) network access and have been coded in such a way that they only start properly if the network is either completely turned off, or completely perfect?

There's the mandatory Windows Update nonsense. I can only imagine someone at Microsoft said "Nobody will complain, Android does that already, my Android phone is always downloading updates for apps", ignoring the fact that (1) Android isn't used on desktops, and (2) updating apps and even app infrastructure doesn't imply needing forced reboots. Hell, I regularly update my Ubuntu machine and virtually never reboot it, I don't need to, only updates to the kernel and X11 actually need reboots, and it's rare, if ever, that either absolutely 100% needs to be updated.

Couldn't Microsoft have just, you know, added the Start menu, and released that as Windows 8.2, and then held back on Windows 10 until they had a usable, stable, pleasant to use operating system? I know they were kinda in a panic, but the Start menu was literally the only thing anyone ever complained about with 8.x.

BTW I'm always wrong on these issues, so expect Windows 10 to be very popular with everyone lauding how great it is that Freecell will sit spinning at a Please wait screen because your laptop or tablet automatically connected to a coffee shop hotspot and is now waiting for you to log in.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ask Slashdot (sort of): Anyone know anything about boats? 6

I have the chance to buy a boat. I don't know anything about boats. This boat is a big boat. It is 70' long, it has masts and stuff - it also has a couple of engines (one of which is a generator) and has stuff like onboard desalination (I guess?) and stuff. It has two masts. I'd show a picture but I've been asked not to - the reason given is that this market is considered competitive and they don't want people to know that it's for sale or an indicator of price or some gibberish like that.

I should mention the seller, while not a friend, is an associate whom I've known for a while and calling them eccentric would be fairly generous.

Now, this boat is in Barbados. It has taken some external damage and has 'severe' engine damage as well as needing a 'near total reconditioning.' I did find a company in Florida that will go get it for me and their price isn't too bad (I think?) so that's not a problem.

The person selling this boat let the insurance lapse and now the boat is damaged. They don't have the money to do the repairs. They've offered this to me at a price that is pretty damned high. (People pay that much for boats? Their asking price is in the 9 digit range but they paid much, much more for it not that long ago - like 15 years ago.)

Now they have estimates and statements of value. So the estimated return on my investment would be well over 200% though I'd need to "park" my money for up to a "few years" or more.

I mention, again, that they're kind of eccentric so details are pretty sparse. I've bought a lot of expensive things in my time but I don't even own a boat with a motor. I also don't know a damned thing about boats except that port is left and stern is the front. I also haven't ever piloted nor do I want to pilot anything of this size. Hell, I don't even like boats.

But it does seem like an awfully tempting investment. I tried to find a professional to deal with this but it would appear that I don't know the first thing about boats. All my searching has found me nothing. My research also indicates that the current market for boats is pretty slow.

I've also been told that owning a boat is akin to owning a hole in the water in which to deposit money. However, I don't want to really OWN a boat - I want to not even see the boat. This boat had a skipper but the skipper has run away. The exact phrase was, indeed, "run away."

They want me to call them back tonight. I've already sent an email indicating that it will take me longer than that to do some research. They indicate they have interested parties (why contact me?) and that it's a potentially quick sale (again, why contact me?) but I do know them personally and they do indeed have a boat - I have personally seen his boat before.

I suspect it's my ready access to capital and that they've no buyers "lined up" at all but are hoping to pressure me into making a quick choice. Fortunately (maybe) I'm a cautious critter and don't really want a boat.

Anyhow, I'd have to have this boat refloated, tugged out, put on the back of another boat, brought to Florida (or Maine - probably Maine), and have the damned thing fixed. It also appears the people who do these things are pretty busy so this won't be quick. I guess I can "afford" it (for a limited definition of afford) and all and I'm not one to shy away from taking risks but I honestly don't know a damned thing about boats and I've been researching and calling for a couple of days now.

I mean, if Slashdot can help me find my favorite Linux distro (and send me on a personal quest of wanderlust and insight) then how can they not help me when it comes to boats? You guys know everything. I'm actually willing to pay a boat expert (do they have a specific name?) to make this choice for me. I don't think that it helps that I'm not home and won't be home for the foreseeable future (subject to another journal post, perhaps).

Finally, boats have butt-loads of geeky stuff on them. At least this boat does. It has radar, GPS, radio, engines and a couple of masts for sailing I guess, and other assorted stuff. I suppose if the damned thing doesn't sell I can either learn to love a boat or just suck up my losses, learn to never buy a boat again, and give it to the University of Maine's oceanographic biology department. I can, at least, write it off and offset some tax liability but that's a whole other long and detailed subject.

By the way, I don't have a huge attachment to buying a boat. I do kind of like the idea of reselling the boat at a decent profit - that is what is attractive. (Don't worry, various charities - including EFF - will get some of the profit.) Sorry if my writing is unclear, I'm not an author and my grasp of the English language is not so very good. Sad, really, I've been attempting to speak it for the vast majority of my life.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Strange revelations - hacker manifesto, set to music? 2

So, it's a very long story but I'm still in Buffalo, I have my reasons. In fact, my reason is in her hotel room (again, a very long story) and nearly forty years my junior. However, one of the many discussions we've been having... And no, it's not that type of relationship, perverts. I may opine on this later but I'm due to go to the movies in a little while.

Where was I? Oh, yes... One of the things we've had discussions about has been hacker culture, code, mathematics, computer history, technology, etc... See, I met her when she was beating up her poor laptop and I opined that that was no way to treat a computer. She told me it was an "old piece of junk." Being who I am, well, I offered to take a look at her poorly behaving PC and it actually gets stranger from there. It's a very long story.

Where was I again? Oh yes. So, I got her computer running and got her convinced to give Linux a try and we backed up her required documents and were on our way. Then we were hungry and, well, I've been a gentleman ever since. That was some days ago but, I digress and am in a bit of a rush tonight.

Anyhow, I tell you that to tell you this. While we were having dinner (and I am skipping a lot of the story for the sake of brevity) tonight, I happened to be expanding on the history of ethical hacking - after a long conversation that hacking didn't mean doing nefarious things and that coders were, indeed, hackers. So, the conversation went a bit like this:

Me, "Yeah, it's neat. Lots of them have their credos." Talking about ethical hacking at this point. "You could say it's their hacker manifesto."

Her, "You mean like that old song?"

Me, "You'll have to narrow that down."

Her, "You know, some German band. My mom likes her. 99 Red Balloons."

Me, "WTF?"

Her, "Umm... Maybe I am not getting you?"

Me, "No, you probably are. I suspect I'm not getting you. Lemme Google this." (Goes on to Google lyrics and is quite surprised at revelations.)

So, her gift to me and now mine to you is this, the lyrics to 99 Red Balloons revisited with today's hindsight.

You and I in a little toy shop
Buy a bag of balloons
With the money we've got
Set them free at the break of dawn
'Till one by one, they were gone
Back at base, bugs in the software
Flash the message
"Something's out there"

Floating in the summer sky
99 red balloons go by

99 red balloons
Floating in the summer sky
Panic bells, it's red alert
There's something here
From somewhere else
The war machine springs to life
Opens up one eager eye
Focusing it on the sky
99 red balloons go by

99 Decision Street
99 ministers meet
To worry, worry, super-scurry
Call the troops out in a hurry
This is what we've waited for
This is it boys, this is war

The president is on the line
As 99 red balloons go by

[Instrumental Interlude]

99 Knights of the air
Ride super-high-tech jet fighters
Everyone's a Superhero
Everyone's a Captain Kirk
With orders to identify
To clarify and classify

Scramble in the summer sky
As 99 red balloons go by

As 99 red balloons go by

99 dreams I have had
In every one a red balloon
It's all over and I'm standin' pretty
In this dust that was a city
If I could find a souvenier
Just to prove the world was here

And here is a red balloon
I think of you and let it go

I really wanted to add comments to it and whatnot but I'll leave that to you as I'm lacking time. I've got to leave at about 7:15. I bolded what was most interesting but there's so much more to bold and pontificate about... So much... How very odd.

If you want to watch it then, by all means, here's a link:

Anyhow, I... I... I had no idea? I'd never interpreted it that way (or even really paid attention to it). That song actually is deep and meant something? Or is it just deep and meaningful in retrospection? By the way, it could be construed as unethical hacking but that's not really the important part. The important part is her sharing this and my ensuing excitement.

Also, yes, yes she is a cutie... However, it's a long story. If you think THIS is a long post then, well, if I decide to type the rest it will make this seem like Cliff's Notes.

I'll try to peek in and see if there's a reply and then, of course, I'll be here later. After all, there are some things you ask your friend and family about. Then there are other things you just don't want to ask them because their opinions are all biased so you're stuck asking /b/ or Slashdot. I don't really want to post pics (or it didn't happen) so I may actually ask Slashdot just to see the replies.

Why not? I mean, you have given me great advice before. I'd have never tried Linux Mint without you guys recommending it, I'd have stuck with CentOS or something. Hell, I'm even on my journey because a Slashdotter sort of recommended it. You're a surprisingly wise bunch as a group. (And no, no I'm not drinking, drunk, or otherwise overly intoxicated - I might be a little high.)

Anyhow, I'm off to see a movie shortly. The theater is just down the road a spell and I'll obviously have my phone (on silent) with me. Me? Go somewhere without a computer? I don't see that happening. Also, she's smart and a budding geek. Life is too confusing. *sighs* I hate popcorn.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Clown Car 10

Jeb Bush - he's not so bad. I disagree with him, but he's basically another establishment figure and, actually, if truth be told, I suspect he's slightly less insane than most in the establishment. He seems smarter than W. On the other hand, he hates trains, so f--- him. President Bush? "OHWELL".

Rubio - has said nothing particularly impressive thus far. Seems to be mostly an empty suit. President Rubio? "OHWELL"

Trump - amused that the candidate that seems to be pandering and flip-flopping the most is the one that Republicans think is unusually honest. Other than that, if he's actually genuinely running for election at this point it's because he's suddenly realized that he has support he probably didn't realize he had at the beginning. President Trump? "OHMYHELL"

Carson - I'm sure he's a nice guy, and he's got to be pretty intelligent on some level, but he seems out of his league when it comes to politics, and genuinely unclear about how to balance the need to look like a raving lunatic in front of his base, with the need to not look like a raving lunatic to everyone else. President Carson? "OHDEAR"

Chris Christie - There's really not a lot right with this guy. Insanely Machiavellian and happy to do the wrong thing if it means looking good in front of the right people. Plus holds grudges. He's essentially the next Nixon. President Christie? "OHMYHELL".

Carly Fiorina - The only people I know in tech who support her are the kinds of idiots that rave about how much they hate government employees simply by virtue of the fact they're employed by a government. The chances of Fiorina merging the US with Canada, Mexico, and the UK, reducing the GDP of the four put together to slightly more than the US does today though is pretty slim. While she showed the usual sociopathic instincts of any CEO at HP, her excesses could possibly have been due to a misguided belief she was saving the company. Outside of HP, she seems to be a Rubio-like empty suit, mumbling platitudes to whip up the base while revealing nothing credible about her own views. On that basis, despite HP, I must rate President Fiorina an "OHWELL"

The rest: All are either religious nuts, which rules them out of the running (despite everything, the Republicans never go with those), no names, or have the surname "Paul". They're not going to win the nomination. If any do, I guess other than one of the no-names winning, it's pretty much an OHMYHELL all the way down.

Ratings explained:

OHWELL - Hey I voted Democratic, but I don't see this guy as destroying the country, so I'm not going to behave like a Republican does during a Democratic administration. Previous candidates qualifying as OHWELLs: Ford, Bush Sr, Dole, Mittens
OHDEAR - Suspect this guy won't be able to hold it together, fairly uncomfortable with him winning: Previous OHDEARs: St Reagan, McCain
OHMYHELL - This guy will probably ruin the country in some shape or form, either through complete incompetence, ideological nuttery, or sheer evil: Nixon, Bush/Cheney

"Help Mr. Wizard!" -- Tennessee Tuxedo