I've had numerous comments over the last couple of days receiving troll for which that tag is clearly unwarranted. I wonder if someone is hoping to break my karma max.
I haven't posted a journal here in almost three years, because I couldn't find the button to start a new entry.
So... hi, Slashdot. I used to be really active here, but now I mostly lurk and read. I've missed you.
Another 3 1/2 years ago by. Slashdot hasn't changed much. But I feel rather more alienated from the alarmism than ever. Perhaps I am jaded and fatalistic. Time goes by and I find that loud and dirty people annoy me more than large corporations. Yes, Bank of America wants to charge fees for using the debit card at stores now...so what, I'll just move my money to a bank that doesn't. More of the same in other ways as well. Getting and keeping money seems to be more important than it was years ago, when I first started using Slashdot. I guess I am just getting old...or is it mature?
There is a nasty piece of malware going around that has caused a number of people I know to have their Windows machines to crash and I am tired of people complaining about Windows virus/malware infections...
So let me put it mildly....Surfing the net using the Windows operating system is like having sex with multiple partners that you pick up on the street and you don't use a condom, or if you do, it always has a hole or two in it. And you do this for multiple hours of ever day.
That is surfing with Windows. Even when you use an anti-virus or anti-malware program, there are *NO* anti-virus or anti-malware programs that will stop them all. And what's more...people don't blame Windows on being insecure, they blame it on the virus and malware writers!
Or, to put it another way, it is sort of like complaining that buglers and thieves are breaking into your home, yet the only thing barring them from entering you home is turning a door knob because you have no locks or alarm systems installed. That is using Windows to surf the net.
So *PLEASE* start putting pressure Microsoft to secure their operating system, or switch to something more secure, like Mac OS, or Linux. And before you give me that BS that Linux doesn't get as many infections as Windows because it is less popular...think about this...Facebook runs on Linux, Google runs on Linux, Akamai runs on Linux, 98% of the to 500 fastest computers in the World run Linux. The fastest selling phone operating system, Android, is a version of Linux. There are easily as many Linux system out there as there are Windows system, and I am willing to bet there are actually *more* Linux system than Windows systems.
Today, I leapt onto the bleeding edge...
I've always been a big fan of Slackware, although I have used most of the popular Linux Distros out there, Red Hat, Debian, Ubuntu, SuSE...but I keep on coming back to Slackware. It's just a good, solid Distro. But recently, there has been a new Distro based upon Slackware. It's called Salix. Its relationship to Slackware is like Ubuntu's relationship to Debian...that is, they take the basic base distro, and dramatically enhance it for desktop use. Now I know a think or two about taking a distro and modifying it...having created MfxLinux, a Slackware based distro which was Desktop oriented. So I know how much work goes into building a distro.
Salix does a lot of the things that I would normally do with a fresh Slackware install...and much more! A fresh install gives you all of the multi-media tools you need to use it as a desktop oriented version of Linux. As Slackware is very fast, Salix does very well as a desktop operating system.
But there is one thing that it adds that really takes it head-and-shoulders above other desktop distros based upon Slackware...even mine. They have added a package management tool called Slapt-get. It is based upon the Apt-get tool that Debian has, but it uses Slackware customised tarball as a container. It uses a separate directory on the Repository site to store the dependencies. They also bundle in GSlapt, which is a graphical front end for Slapt-get.
These tools make it very easy to keep your system updated...or do, as I am doing as I write this...step onto the bleeding edge!
There are many reasons why I am doing what I am doing, but the simplest is that it is a challenge...
I am using the "Dist-upgrade" option, to upgrade my version of Salix from version 13.1, to "current". Now if you know how Slackware works, you will know that the "current" version of Slackware is the one that all of the development is happening on. It changes...fast...sometimes two or three times a day. So that means, I am testing the bleeding edge of Salix, and Slackware.
This should be fun!
I know, for some of you, this is not your idea of fun....but it is for me, so don't gripe!
I will let people know how this works out...
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Silicon Valley area (Foster City).
So this is odd enough I figured I'd make a note of it. I'm aware that the way the Slashdot moderation gremlins decide who gets points how often is veiled in secrecy, but still, does anyone have any ideas about this?
I've had an active Slashdot account for a while now. At the beginning I got mod points now and then, no big deal. When my karma hit excellent, I got them a little more often maybe. Okay.
Then about two years ago, they just stopped dead. My karma stayed the same, my posting, site visitation, and metamod habits stayed the same. I have notifications on to tell me about metamods who disagree with my mods and never saw very many of those. For some unknown reason I just stopped getting mod points completely.
Now, all of a sudden last Thursday or so (the 15th), out of the blue, I see that I have 5 mod points. Wow! I spent 4 of them I think and let the last one expire. The day after they expired, 5 more points. I spend all of them I think. The day after they were set to expire, today, bam! -- 5 more points.
It's just odd. I get blacklisted from moderating (I assume) and then out of nowhere get 15 points in some 9 days dumped on me. Did I piss off an editor (I have made fun of a few... it's too easy sometimes) and get an arbitrary 20-ish month ban on modding which has run its course? Seems unlikely, but...
I don't actually have anything to say. Kathleen is due any day, and I'm looking forward to a few weeks of staying home, getting poor sleep, and changing diapers.
But mostly I'm testing to see if journal saving works properly.
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.
I've lurked at
But I've been clicking through the old RSS feed more and more lately, and when I saw the PAX Plague thread today, I came over to comment, since I'm kind of affected by the whole damn thing. I thought I'd take a look around since I haven't been here in awhile, and I saw that there are freaking ACHIEVEMENTS associated with our accounts. It's silly, and I'm sure it's been here forever, but I thought it was awesome and I was delighted when I read it.
I didn't realize how much I missed Slashdot until I spent some time here today, and I bet that anyone who joined in the last 2 years doesn't even give a shit about my stupid comments or anything, but it felt good to come back here, and feel safely among my people again.
Today, I experience what is becoming a frequent phenomenon....I will read about some excellent website to get something, in this case, Chris Anderson's New Book "Free", and I find that I can't access it. Why, because I live in Canada. Now before you get all puffed up saying "American content is for Americans"...let me tell you that I am *an* American. I've got the US Passport to prove it! As an American accessing American content, I am being denied access, simply because of my geographical location. Similarly, I try and access The Colbert Report...same thing, and I am told I have to try and access it from the CTV Broadband site, which barfs on Firefox running on Linux. So again, I am an American denied access to an American show simply because of my location, (and then a crappy website).
Now up in Canada, many people call all Americans Yankees, and going "down South" usually means going to Florida. I could access these sites using various proxy server based solutions, but that's not the point. If the US wants to be the Champion of Freedom, that should mean all freedoms, not just the ones it wants to impose upon other countries for US market's interest, or some political ideologue's. One of the US's best ways to spread freedom is through the internet, and if American Culture is the heart of that Freedom, the world is being slowly but surely cut off from that heart. And the result is laws like what Canada has, called CAN-CON.
CAN-CON is a concept that was created to promote Canadian arts in Canada. It forced TV and Radio to have a certain percentage of their broadcasts consist of Canadian produced shows and music. This has had a hugely beneficial effect for Canadian music. But a great deal of it is only heard in Canada. Now many people know some of the great Canadian acts that arose before CAN-CON came into place, bands and artists like Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, The Band, The Guess Who (listen closely to the word of "American Woman"!) and Rush. Some of the acts that have come up since CAN-CON are Feist, Sarah McLachlan, Alannah Myles, Jeff Healy, D.O.A., Voivod, I Mother Earth, Nickleback, Avril Lavigne, Sam Roberts, Nelly Furtado, Dream Warriors, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly (FLA), and k-os, to name some of the top selling Canadian acts.
Now, Imagine that those acts had not been able to get across the border because of a lack of freedom of Canadian Music going across into the US. Of course, some Americans would be happy, as it would mean no Celine Dion or Bryan Adams...but there are always exceptions.
Information, which is what all media is today, wants to be free. If Comedy Central really wanted to find out how many people on the internet liked show like The Colbert Report, they would allow any country to watch the show on their website...but now, they only have the US demographics...and everyone else in the World downloads the show on P2P networks. If they watch it on CTV Broadband, it is usually when they are at work, and bored.
Maybe the answer is in Chris Anderson's "Free"...I'll never know because the site it's available for previewing at a site blocks Canadian IP address.
We now abbreviate journals in the firehose... so they are more like slashdot stories with a Read More link to the full text.
The big user facing change this week was structural: historically we had 2 different "skeletons" on Slashdot, but with this refresh we unified to a single one. This change simplifies maintenance for us quite a bit (maintaining the idle section and the firehose views of the same data was a royal pain).
You also will see some changes to the firehose.pl layout. We're playing with the tab layout a bit, moving some menus around and better integrating the core functions into the site chrome. It's a bit buggy atm, so feel free to email me if you see something wonky. We're extinguishing a few minor brush fires but there's no forest fires that we're aware of.