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Journal: New job. 1

Journal by Kymermosst

Well, I got a new job, started a few weeks ago.

It's for a local public utility. There are no shareholders and the customer base is captive. No competition from India, China, Argentina, and Malaysia. Power and water are pretty much recession-proof.

They believe in a good work-life balance. (Unlike the last job where the world "life" rarely entered the picture.)

The Internet

Journal: Ghost Article: Tea Party Win Shake Up Net Neutrality

Journal by RobertB-DC

This ungrammatical ghost (either "win shakes" or "wins shake" would have been correct) was a clear duplicate of another story, so I knew it was doomed when I saw it.

Tea Party Win Shake Up Net Neutrality
Date: 11/04/2010
Original link: http://politics.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/11/04/1544211
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the tea-shake dept.

GovTechGuy found a story discussing the Republican and Tea Party congressional wins and what that means for Net Neutrality. Apparently most of the dems who signed the net neutrality pledge last week are now looking for work.

Piracy

Journal: Ghost Article: BSA Inflate Their Piracy Losses 2

Journal by RobertB-DC

My guess is that this Monday-morning submission turned out to be a duplicate of something that came in over the weekend. But I haven't had a chance to check.

BSA Inflate Their Piracy Losses
Date: 09/20/2010
Original link: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/09/20/1525220
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the thats-just-marketing dept.

superapecommando noted that Glyn Moody reckons
"The IDC numbers turn out to be reasonable enough, the conclusions drawn from them are not. Reducing software piracy will not magically conjure up those hundreds of billions of dollars of economic growth that the BSA invokes, or create huge numbers of new jobs: it will simply move the money around â" in fact, it will send more of it outside local economies to the US, and reduce the local employment. And it certainly won't do anything to ameliorate the quotidian problems of poorly-written software..."

User Journal

Journal: Guns, Garbage, and Language 1

Journal by Kymermosst

Well, in two posts I managed to start fights over guns, garbage, and language.

Honestly, I didn't think that many people would get that interested in what I have to say. It still amazes me how many people, on a site that is supposed to be mainly occupied by "nerds," fail to present a rational argument. Or any argument, for that matter. Not that I am not guilty of the same, but the one-off anonymous cowards who are either blatantly prejudiced or just flat-out wrong has definitely not gone down. I like to believe that between my nonsense there are at least some reasonable rants.

I've since been modded every possible moderation option, and accused of most of them as well.

I don't think spurred this kind of discussion on Slashdot for years.

User Journal

Journal: Name changing: a continuation 3

Journal by Kymermosst

Regarding this discussion. The summary is that it's apparently almost impossible to change your name in Quebec, especially for customary reasons. This was supposedly instituted in order to further women's and children's rights.

tomhudson's last reply to me inexplicably brings up religion as if I was making some sort of religion-based argument for name changing. At what point do I present religion as the prime argument for allowing people to change their names?

Hell, I don't even limit it to the case of marriage in the discussion, that's just how it began. I think people should be able to change their name at any time for any reason whatsoever to any thing they want. Even to something patently offensive. They should be able to make that name legal.

There are many cases where one would want to change their names besides personal reasons or some custom. I can only imagine what the likes of Malcolm X and Louis Farrakhan might have said or would say about not being able to escape from their "slave names." Or if little Adolph Hitler would like to get a new name, but the state says no you have to live with it.

Your name is part of your identity. It is wrong for anyone to tell you what it is or should be, and it is wrong to be forced to live with what your parents decided for you well before you were able to express your own identity.

It is just incomprehensible that the state will tell you "your name is what your parents said it is, and you have no recourse."

It is the worst assault a government can make against an individual -- an assault on your right to choose the immediate reference to who you are to the rest of the world: your name.

Government

Journal: Ghost Article: UK Government Refuses To Ditch IE6 1

Journal by RobertB-DC

I was expecting this one to resurface -- it disappeared right about the time Slashdot posted a big political story -- but it hasn't come back yet. I'm guessing it's a dupe of a story over the weekend, but I haven't had time to go searching.

Your Rights Online: UK Government Refuses To Ditch IE6
Date: 08/02/2010
Orig link: http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/08/02/169202
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the good-plan-guys dept.

ChiefMonkeyGrinder writes
"The UK government has said it will not upgrade its departments computers from Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 because it would not be 'cost-effective'. A recent online petition posted to Number10.gov.uk received 6,223 signatures that called for the 'Prime Minister to encourage government departments to upgrade away from Internet Explorer 6' due to its alleged vulnerability to attack, and because it requires web developers to specially craft sites to support the browser. This raises the question, what is the cost of an upgrade compared to a massive security breach?"

Security

Journal: Ghost Article: Black Hat Talk On China Cyber Army Pulled

Journal by RobertB-DC

This one was funny -- it was in red on the front page at the same time as the article that eventually posted for real, Talk On Chinese Cyber Army Pulled From Black Hat. Oops!

Black Hat Talk On China Cyber Army Pulled
Date: 07/15/2010
Orig link: http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/07/15/1529241
Posted by CmdrTaco in The Mysterious Future!
from the nobody-ever-talks-about-the-purple-hats dept.

itwbennett writes
"A talk that would have given conference attendees a unique profile of China's secretive government-sponsored hacking efforts has been pulled from the Black Hat schedule. Wayne Huang, one of the presenters of the talk and CTO with Taiwanese security vendor Armorize, said that he decided to pull the talk after vetting it with several organizations that had contributed intelligence and getting pressure from several places, both in Taiwan and in China. Huang wouldn't say who complained or why, but he said that by pulling the talk Armorize will be able to maintain its good relations with the Asian security community. 'We ran the materials by some key people and they were not happy with it,' he said."

User Journal

Journal: Moving data the easy way... 1

Journal by Kymermosst

Well, today it was time to move data from one (EMC) storage array to another vendor (HDS). I have to say that Symantec/Veritas Volume Manager does in fact make it easy.

In short, to perform the move, initialize the LUNs from the new storage array into the existing disk group. Then execute the vxassist evacuate command to evacuate the data from the old disks. Once done, remove the old disks from the disk group.

I haven't kept up too much on developments Linux LVM or other volume management software since we use the Veritas products, so I don't know if any of the others approach this ease of migration. But VxVM has been able to do it for ages.

Every time I do it I think it's cool, and I haven't written a journal entry for a while, so why not write a JE about it while I wait for the 100 or so GB to move to the new array.

User Journal

Journal: A good laugh 2

Journal by Kymermosst

Front page Slashdot ad... for lingerie from Soma Intimates.

If they are targeting that ad at me... well, I got tired of messing up such purchases for my wife, so I gave up.

If they are targeting that ad at slashdot, then perhaps the algorithm is flawed...

Medicine

Journal: Ghost Article: Man HIV-Free 2 Years After Stem Cell Treatment

Journal by RobertB-DC

The first Ghost Article in many, many months shows some strange behind-the-scenes SlashCode action. When I reload the original page URL, I get the generic "Nothing to see here, move along". But when I click on the "title" link, the one in the header before the comments section, the page that results has the full article title. It's not just echoing the text in the URL, either... otherwise it would say "Man HIV Free" instead of "Man HIV-Free". That implies that the ghost is still in the database... somewhere.

Man HIV-Free 2 Years After Stem Cell Treatment
Date: 26 Feb 2010
Orig link: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=10/02/26/1637249
Title link: http://science.slashdot.org/story/10/02/26/1637249/Man-HIV-Free-2-Years-After-Stem-Cell-Treatment
Posted by kdawson in The Mysterious Future!
from the good-genes dept.

kkleiner writes

"According to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, a stem cell transplant performed in Germany has unexpectedly removed all signs of HIV from a 42-year-old American patient. The unnamed white male was treated two years ago for leukemia with a dose of donor stem cells, and his HIV RNA count has dropped to zero and remained there since. While the treatment was for leukemia, Dr. Gero Hutter and colleagues at the Charite Universitatsmedizen in Berlin had selected the stem cell donor for his HIV-resistant genes. While there are still many questions unanswered, this is the first such case of stem cells treating HIV that has been reported in a publication of the caliber of the NEJM."

User Journal

Journal: Military Meets Recruiting Goals

Journal by Kymermosst

The Washington Post writes that the military has met its recruiting goals for this year for the first time since the all-voluntary force. The military is citing economic factors as a reason that recruiting is up.

Some idiot will claim that George W. Bush engineered the recession in order to increase military recruiting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 3... 2... 1...

User Journal

Journal: Updates to Journal System 13

Journal by CmdrTaco

We've made some significant updates to the submission/journal system. Visiting Submissions and Journals yields a new form that allows stuff like tags to the data types. There are a number of annoying bugs, but for the most part the dust is starting to settle. More notes will be coming, but this journal entry is really just me putting the final test on the new Journal form.

The Courts

Journal: Ghost Article: The Long Term Impact of Jacobsen v. Katzer 2

Journal by RobertB-DC

Sorry, no time for fancy formatting. Here's the article... I don't keep up with the topic, so I don't know why it got yanked. Here's the link, in case it comes back: http://news.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/04/16/1945246 Enjoy!

The Long Term Impact of Jacobsen v. Katzer
Posted by timothy in The Mysterious Future!
from the stabs-in-the-dark dept.

snydeq (http://www.infoworld.com/) writes
"Lawyer Jonathan Moskin has called into question the long-term impact (http://www.infoworld.com/d/open-source/does-court-ruling-raise-risks-open-source-687) last year's Java Model Railroad Interface court ruling will have on open source adoption among corporate entities. For many, the case in question, Jacobsen v. Katzer (http://jmri.sourceforge.net/k/docket/index.shtml), has represented a boon for open source, laying down a legal foundation for the protection of open source developers (http://tech.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/10/03/1447248&tid=185). But as Moskin sees it, the ruling 'enables a set of potentially onerous monetary remedies for failures to comply with even modest license terms, and it subjects a potentially larger community of intellectual property users to liability (http://www.law.com/jsp/legaltechnology/pubArticleLT.jsp?id=1202429618746).' In other words, in Moskin's eyes, Jacobsen v. Katzer could make firms wary of using open source software because they fear that someone in the food chain has violated a copyright, thus exposing them to lawsuit. It should be noted that Moskin's firm has represented Microsoft in anti-trust litigation before the European Union."

Microsoft

Journal: Data Corruption from Excel Autocorrect 1

Journal by Interrobang

Someone on TECHWR-L posted a link to this paper (under the paradoxical title "The Cupertino Effect"), which is about how Excel's autocorrect feature can corrupt statistical analysis of genetic data if/when Excel "makes the wrong assumption" about an entry based on how it looks:

When processing microarray data sets, we recently noticed that some gene names were being changed inadvertently to non-gene names. A little detective work traced the problem to default date format conversions and floating-point format conversions in the very useful Excel program package. The date conversions affect at least 30 gene names; the floating-point conversions affect at least 2,000 if Riken identifiers are included. These conversions are irreversible; the original gene names cannot be recovered.

As the author points out, this can cause gene names to come back in analyses as "unknown," because "[a] default date conversion feature in Excel ... was altering gene names that it considered to look like dates. For example, the tumor suppressor DEC1 ... was being converted to '1-DEC.'"

The authors also note that there is a problem with "RIKEN [4] clone identifiers of the form nnnnnnnEnn" being converted to a floating-point number.

The paper also gives some idea of the devastating scale of the problem and its significance for people doing these sorts of analyses: "A non-expert user might well fail to notice that approximately 3% of the identifiers on a microarray with tens of thousands of genes had been converted to an incorrect form, yet the potential for 2,000 identifiers to be transmogrified without notice is a considerable concern."

As far as I know personally and can glean from the paper, the autocorrect and/or conversion feature is nearly impossible to disable completely, and can only be worked around, possibly unsuccessfully 100% of the time. This suggests that perhaps Excel is not the tool of choice for doing these sorts of analyses. (Does the spreadsheet application in OpenOffice work differently?)

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