In a couple of days I can say that I am a published author.
In a couple of weeks you can find my book on Amazon.com.
In a couple of days I have fulfilled a dream.
Either way I'm just entertaining myself, which is all most people are doing when they comment on Slashdot stories =). Not only that but I've also submitted enough stories that have been accepted to the front page that I don't think I'll EVER lose my excellent karma, regardless of how many troll/off-topic/redundant/flamebait/overrated mods I get. That's kinda sad really... I'm breaking the mod system in two ways =)
Slashvertisements are getting more and more common. It's quite ridiculous to have 3 stories based on the Iron Man movie that are really stretching to place themselves into the geek-world. The tech of Iron Man's suit, Iron Man-like visors, and my favorite, Iron Man released today. Wow... just wow. I wonder how much money that brought in for Slashdot.
I was told that if I didn't like it I should collapse the category so it doesn't show on my front page. I'm still new to the UI and all that, so if anyone could tell me how to turn off the spam category in Slashdot, I'm all ears. My theory is that the viral video trend has lapsed over into Slashdot articles and comments the say way that shills get into Amazon, Ebay, and other CNet resources to tout the product that pays them the most as the best, newest, and hippest thing on the market. Fuck off with all that.
Then there's the moderating. I'm a subscriber, frequent contributor to comments, have 3 articles that have been accepted to the main page, and I have excellent karma. I have yet to see a single mod point dropped me way so that I can dish it out. And yet there's obviously a ton of fuckers out there who have never been metamoderated out of existence. I get troll, flamebait, off-topic and overrated on the wrong posts. Figure it out fuckholes, if you're going to mod me down, at least use the right fucking category to do it. I'm not going to get anywhere complaining about the moderation, so I'll end that one there... just had to get it off my chest.
And, last but not least, my biggest gripe. Opinion-laiden commentary in news postings. Get over yourself and stop telling us what to think in your fucking news blurb. Nobody gives a shit if you think Ron Paul is excellent, Microsoft sucks, or that Apple is the hippest trend since hackey sack. Fuckin report the news and get off your soapbox. If you're brave enough, get back on that soapbox in YOUR OWN FUCKING ARTICLE as a comment. And don't you dare just AC yourself.
Speaking of, AC is the most retarded thing left over from way back in the day. They should not allow AC for comments, or if they do it should be with email verification so you can flame the person who gets on there to say something stupid.
Feel free to add to it.
Personal responsibility. This is the hardest one to fix. People do not take responsibility for their actions anymore, because it's obvious that it's always someone else's fault, and it's entirely likely they need to pay for it... whatever the fault is.
There was a recent story that kind of got me going again on this aspect of what's wrong with America, but it's not the way that you'd probably think. Do you remember when we used to have authority figures? Police, principals, parents, etc...? Those used to be the people you would never question because you'd either get beat or worse, and if it was dealing with the police or school and you got in trouble, then you definately got beat. I'm not talking abuse, but getting hit on the butt a few times was usually enough to make you not want to do whatever you did again.
Those days are long gone. Remember the cops used to say, "Stop or I'll shoot," or if you drove away in your car they'd shoot out your tires or run you off the road? You can't do any of that anymore. And it's getting to the point where you can't even taze someone without worrying about violating someone's rights or getting a race card dropped on your back. I realize there were and are bad cops, and I do realize that there was racism in dealing with certain people, but aren't we past that?
Anymore when someone says, "This cop pulled me over and did this and this wrong," I always have to ask myself, "Why'd you get pulled over," and "if you weren't doing something wrong then why do you care?" You can tell me that's wrong, but I know when I get pulled over, even if I hadn't done anything wrong that time, I know that I've sped before and ran lights before and didn't get caught then, so maybe this one is payback. It's honestly not that big of a deal.
There's a story of some kids who made a MySpace page for their principal that accused him of being a child mollestor and various other things. The students got kicked out of school and then suspended, and now the parents are suing the school for stifling their kids' freedom of speech. This is the society we live in. Instead of people like this going off to die somewhere, they are literally kept alive by the government and society to the cost of us all. My parents would have rightly beaten me and taken my computer, explaining the seriousness of what I had accused the man of. Not these parents... not these times.
Yes, personal responsibility is probably the biggest thing missing from America right now. Everyone's first answer is to sue, even if it means that they are going to prove to a lot more people exactly how stupid they are. Kind of like this story about lawyers attempting to get money by just threatening to sue, until they did that to the wrong person.
But wait, there's more. I don't just want it to work. I want it to work without looking up some bass ackwards command line bullshit. I want it to work with the shit that I've already purchased (mostly just the games, don't take away my games!). I don't want to have to learn sudo, pstree, cp, mv, rm, or any of that bullshit. Call me lazy, but I'm above average here people, and if I'm not sold I can't imagine that there are a lot of people who are.
Ubuntu worked, eventually. I had some weird BIOS problem dealing with the boot order on my ISA hard drive... some shit. Took me about 3 months to find out that I press F6 on the boot screen for Ubuntu and type "force irqcheck" or some such thing before Ubuntu would actually see my drive. And I'm not just talking about it took me that long to find the command. That command was found, like all the others, after trying so many different websites that I lost count. It's not a problem of the information not being there, it's a problem that I don't know how to fucking describe it. "I want to install this" doesn't always cut it, and "it won't find my hard drive" is apparently more common than it should be.
So it installs, things work, there's updates immediately, yay. Things are great. Now, I realize it's going to be more work than it's worth to use MS Office and I may have to convert my WMAs to play them properly. I know this going in, so when things like that pop up I'm prepared. I also realize that I'm going to have to read up on configuration files for firewalls, Apache, Samba, etc... I'm fine with that too. All I want to do that I was pretty sure I'd have problems was play my games, and the only game I really want to play is Team Fortress 2.
Before even getting the Ubuntu distro I checked to see if people were running Steam and TF2. A pleasant surprise was that Wine was having good luck with Steam and TF, so there was a good chance it would work for me and my little GeForce 6600. That was not the case.
Wine didn't run most of what I wanted to run. The Steam installer ran fine, but I couldn't read anything on the screen. Like the buttons and everything was there, but there was no text what-so-ever. I normally would have just trudged my way through and guessed what they wanted (username, password, etc... but there were options I didn't remember from the Windows side, so back to the net I went. Turns out that Steam uses the Tahoma font, which is licensed by Microsoft (or some such thing), and there were a couple fixes.
Anyway, long story short I got it running but it was slow as hell. Looked on the Wine support site and there was some uber complex way to fix it. Someone posted under it something to the effect of "Ok, but what does that all mean?" and the fucker running the site replied (paraphrased) "We offer the support, we don't hold your hand." Congratulations, fucktards, you support the geek elite and cut off the people who will actually donate to you or spread word of your project.
Someone said that using NoScript was like slogging through the mud, and I found that to be majoritively true. It was more work to explain to my wife how to use it instead of just disabling it and dealing with this popup or whatever else it would protect me from. That's the way Linux is; it's just more trouble than it's worth for 90% of the population. If that means I need to turn in my nerd card, then so be it. I can play TF without it.
Use the fucking constitution! I'm not saying that we need to go all Ron Paul on it, but the fact remains that the basic idea and principle of the United States Constitution was near perfect. Whereas The Bible said that it was perfect, cannot be flawed, and anyone can twist its words so that it may seem evil, our constitution pretty much realized that it would become outdated, that it would need changed as time went on, and set down processes to do so.
You can't use the constitution to make it so that people can't get married, you can't use the constitution to say that people can kill their babies (I'm pro-choice, it's just a fact though), this whole "going to war" deal is bullshit and it was bullshit ever since 'Nam, our tax system is a sham, and our lack of checks and balances right now is a literal disgrace. If we cannot vote for, hope for, or buy a government that will work then it is time to force it to.
It's humorous to me that our politicians talk about how poorly Iraq is doing with their political progress when our system is so fucked.
Lawsuits. Frivolous lawsuits are the bane of the intelligent. Getting rid of the "bad" lawsuits would solve more problems than changing the president, senate, house, and every other level of government. Certain lawyers would get less money, some would be completely out of a job, we wouldn't have to have "Caution: Coffee served very hot" labels on everything, and it would save states, companies and the government untold millions.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you get a finger in your Burger King meal, you deserve some money because it's pretty obvious someone was negligent (it's SOMEONE'S finger... right?); if you poke your eye out by drinking your Starbuck's coffee that you left the coffee stirrer in, you're just retarded and should probably die quietly. If you wreck your car while you are fleeing the cops, you shouldn't be able to sue (the cops should be able to end the chase before it gets to that point anyway, but that's another topic); if you crash into a soccer mom in her minivan while avoiding the cops, you shouldn't be allowed to live.
The problem is who is to decide what a bad lawsuit is? That's the part I haven't figured out yet, and I'm not sure there is a good answer. At this point though, I'd rather abolish all lawsuits and hurt a few people rather than let the innumerable stupid ones through.
...more to come...