Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×
It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: On Spam, Faith, and Bullshit

Last Monday we had a front page article asking about the "effectiveness" of ISP-level spam filters. I eventually responded with a rehash of my central thesis on slashdot, pointing out that spam is an economic problem and filters will never resolve it.

My comment was generally well received (as seen by the moderations applied to it), though clearly some people were confused by it. Note for example two anonymous applications of the standard form, neither of which showed good comprehension of my comment. Overall my comment fielded 13 replies, many of which seemed to struggle with my statement in one way or another.

However the one who really failed most dramatically was this comment claiming - based on nothing at all - that everything I said was completely wrong. I eventually challenged his faith in spam filters, which apparently caused him to take off the gloves and make it personal.

In fact, so personal, that he kept bringing the conversation back to himself. Eventually I got tired of trying to bring the discussion back to being about spam, and he apparently got tired of talking about himself.

Even for this crowd, that was an odd discussion. Something like 18 comments from him in ~5 days and possibly not a single fact across the lot of them.
User Journal

Journal: Thanks, Obama! 16 16

Talking to a Caribbean-based business acquaintance this week reminded me that, no matter my feelings for the Obama administration, I will be eternally grateful that he's taken Cuba off the table. Because in the pantheon of stupid american wedge issues, the Cuban embargo is near-lock for the title IMO.

Bonus conspiracy fun: The lifting of the embargo, and its timing could be seen as a nice little spoiler for the only 2 GOP candidates who have any shot at beating Hillary next year, Bush and Rubio. Most of the other candidates can choose a wide range of answers when presented with questions on the topic, whereas the Floridians actually have serious history and ties on this, making finessing the issue that much harder.

Oh, and before someone thinks they're clever by telling me that President Perry or whoever would just go back to the status quo faster than you can say "fuck you liberals!", good luck with that. The GOP only cared that it reliably delivered Florida's electoral votes, and it stopped doing that a good couple of cycles ago. It's dead, Jim.

User Journal

Journal: Obviously, this validates the conspiracy 18 18

Islamic State operative suspected in 2012 Benghazi attack killed in US airstrike

Because certainly they must have known that he had all those deleted emails from Hillary Clinton's email server - particularly the ones where she asked him to initiate the strike - on his person when he was killed in Iraq this week. Hence this airstrike was done only to bring about the coronation of Mrs. Clinton.

Am I getting the conspiracy about right this time? I haven't heard anything from the usual gang here to tell me what to think about this yet.

User Journal

Journal: Number Five 2 2

I just sent off for the fifth and, I hope, last pre-publication copy of Yesterday's Tomorrows. I was sure it would be finished a month ago, but there were problems printing it due to some of the illustrations being too high of a resolution. It took a month to get the fourth printed.

I can't decide whether or not to assign an ISBN to it, since the book may not be legal in all countries. What do you think? I only have three or four left, and a block of ten is $250. Should I use one? The only country besides the US that has bought my books was Great Britain, and very few there although the web site gets visits from all over the world.

I'm pretty sure I'll never sell a book in Australia, because they're crazy expensive down there; tariffs, probably.

Oh, if you want to read the copy of Huckleberry Finn at my site, better hurry because when I post Yesterday's Tomorrows I'll have to take the Twain book down to make space. It will be back up this fall when I renew my URL and upgrade my hosting level. When it's back up I'll have a version that's easy to read on a phone.

User Journal

Journal: How to counteract rm -rf / in a few easy steps.

first off be prepared, have killall rm in innocent looking names on the systems you protect. one for every letter of the alphabet if you can take the time to do that, but failing that having wget will allow you to download killall to any directory your on, assuming you have a network machine with the capabilities of sharing killall, or a comparable program.

User Journal

Journal: Winduhs

I think the whole mobile operating system thing has screwed up GUI design to a certain degree. Microsoft, Ubuntu, and GNOME have both been brave and tried something new, but what they ended up with ended up being highly unpopular on the desktop. And to be honest, I think only Microsoft ended up with something truly good on a touch interface, though I admit to not using Ubuntu or GNOME in those contexts, just being aware that they've not really encouraged an ecosystem for applications to work well in a tablet environment, leaving users with only the main shell being friendly. So the loss of optimization for the desktop lead to no significant gains elsewhere.

The way I'm seeing it, Windows 10 seems to be genuinely exciting, and a decent modern desktop, that also encourages cross interface design. Microsoft has learned from the mistakes it made with Windows 8, kept the good parts, and put together something truly great and modern.

I don't really want to be stuck with Windows though as my primary OS. I'm hoping Ubuntu et al actually learn from it.

This is something you'll never normally hear from me, but perhaps they need a Miguel type figure to take a lead in either GNOME or Ubuntu. At this point, at least to me, it looks like Microsoft is the one with the good ideas about how a UI should work and the relationship of an application to the UI frameworks of the underlying OS. I don't want anyone to clone Windows, but it would be nice to learn from it, at least.

Back in the 1990s, nerds like me put together our own "desktops", running random window managers, app launchers, and file managers (if that) that seemed to go together. I'm feeling like the FOSS "desktop" is heading back to that era, of stuff that doesn't really go together, being shoehorned to fit, with no real philosophy binding the system together.

User Journal

Journal: $freaks++ 11 11

Relationship Change
sent by Slashdot Message System on Tuesday June 02, 2015 @12:05AM

hitchhacker (122525) has made you their foe.

At first I figured it was likely that this person foe'd me after I called out (slashdot heroes) Ron and Rand Paul as fascists. However this user posts so little it is hard to tell if they read that or not. I notice they do have Barbara on their foes list as well, which may have been the reason instead.

User Journal

Journal: I take that back, I guess we did gain something from Occupy 2 2

Back in 2011, I asked How Long Until OWS Gives Up With Nothing?

I figured they would eventually get pushed aside and things would go back to business as usual. Indeed, that has mostly happened - wall street still runs the show and tells Washington what to do while the rest of us get screwed.

However, it appears that not only did something come from the Occupy movement, but it is a tangible product that you can buy.
User Journal

Journal: I have a confession to make...

I am a widely unreported minority called a 'xenosexual' i am very attracted to foreign women. xeno means alien and of course many xenosexuals want to have sex with aliens from another planet. of course i'm not exclusively xenosexual but i'm not pansexual either (loving all types) as boys/men are ugly to me. the internet for all it's glory has so far hidden the xenosexual to obscure groups even more obscure than 4chan. even though japanese anime has had demon sex and alien sex it is still an obscure offshoot of an obscure media. 'please my teacher' is one such xenosexual anime (which i have copies of)

I am tired of all the persecution and ignorance towards xenosexuals i couldn't even find a page on facebook for xenosexuals, despite there being anime for it.

User Journal

Journal: The Kevlar Kandidate Prepares to Surprise Nobody 10 10

If you can make it through his 45 seconds without falling asleep you might hear him say:

âoeI gotta tell you, ladies and gentlemen, part of the reason why Iâ(TM)m even thinking about what Iâ(TM)m thinking about â" we havenâ(TM)t announced anything yet, wonâ(TM)t until after the end of June when our state budget is done â" I have yet to see anyone in the field or in the emerging field whoâ(TM)s done both.â

I will say though, that if somehow the "democrats" manage to nominate Bernie Sanders, it would be fantastic to watch the two square off. Unfortunately Bernie can't raise enough money to be taken seriously by those who have the power to select a candidate - and will eventually be assassinated by the media (in the same was they offed Howard Dean) - which will result in a subpar nominee being on the ballot.

On the plus side, the Kevlar Kandidate keeps packing his offices with people who worked for the Teflon Candidate. This suggests he has a low probability of actual success. Unfortunately, Wisconsin will still be stuck with him after that failure occurs.

User Journal

Journal: Dice Holdings Inc is now "DHI" 11 11

I'm surprised this wasn't on the front page. I noticed today in the bottom right corner

Slashdot is a DHI service.

And was left to wonder if the Slashdot parent company was bought out. Apparently they just changed their name for better branding. I'm sure this can only lead to good things for this site, right?

User Journal

Journal: A suggestion to mobile browser makers and the W3C 4 4

There are an awful lot of pages on my web site, and I've been busy making them all "mobile-friendly". Most of them are little or no problem making them look good on all platforms, but there are three that are especially problematic.

I jumped this hurdle (well, sort of stumbled past it) by making two of each of the pages with a link to the mobile page from the index.

Ideally, I could just check to see if it was a phone or not and redirect phones to the mobile page, but there's no way to make this 100% successful*. Each brand of phone has a different user agent, there are a lot of installable phone browsers. On top of that, is it an Android phone or an Android tablet? With the minimum typeface size and viewport set, those pages are fine on the PC version but the phone version looks like crap.

Apple should have thought of this when they made the first iPhone, and Google should have thought of this when developing Android. The answer is simple, but it can only be implimented by browser makers and perhaps the W3C.

From the beginning of the World Wide Web, browsers looked for index.html, the default front page in any directory. This worked fine before smart phones, but no longer.

Phone browsers should look first for mobile.html, and if it exists display that, and display index.html if it isn't there. Tablets and computers would behave as they always have.

It doesn't have to be mobile.html, it could be any name as long as everyone agreed that it was the standard, like they did with index.html.

Maintaining a web site would be much easier if they did this. What do you guys think?

* A reader tipped me to the Apache Mobile Filter. It looks promising, especially since my host uses Apache. I'm looking into it.

User Journal

Journal: Can Republicans keep clowns off the debate stage? 13 13

Bloomberg View says it is unlikely.

Still traumatized by the 2012 "dog-and-pony show," which he called an "embarrassment and ridiculous," Priebus has decreed that this time the circus can have only nine rings, I mean debates, compared with about two dozen in the 2012 cycle. Only media outlets Priebus can stomach will get the chance to broadcast one of them. The left-leaning MSNBC will be excluded and its parent, NBC, will have to share its one debate with Telemundo. Fox and CNBC have been granted debates along with CNN after it dropped plans for a Hillary docudrama.

...

Limiting the number of debates may or may not help. What Priebus really needs to do is limit the number of debaters. He publicly atoned for not doing it last time but so far he hasn't come up with a way to prevent another melee. He'll have to act fast to find a formula before the first debate in August in Ohio, sponsored by Fox.

...

Priebus saw the damage last time as the eventual winner, Mitt Romney, repeatedly found himself on stage with people who weren't going to win anything but frequent flyer miles but could still goad him into musing about "self-deportation." If Priebus doesn't come up with something, the eventual winner this time will be sharing a stage with Carson comparing the U.S. under President Barack Obama to Nazi Germany or the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo. But Carson is the only black candidate, and that matters to a party that recognizes it has a likability deficit with minorities.

Similarly, eliminating Fiorina would reignite the War on Women meme. Fiorina isn't as out there as Carson, but she has no hope of making a dent, given her credentials as a losing Senate candidate, who had previously been ousted as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard for a questionable merger and huge layoffs, a record that is likely to come up a lot.

And how can he nudge evangelical favorite Huckabee to the side? He wasn't a clown in 2008 but he, his party and his Fox audience have moved to the right since then. In his campaign manifesto, "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy," and on the stump, the former governor dishes out opprobrium to a wasteland of miscreants. He assails the mainstream media, Jay-Z, the "ick factor" in gay relationships and gay adoption (because "children are not puppies"). And he has become a survivalist hawking quack medicine, even though, like the other former governor from Hope, he became rich after leaving office.

I never cheated an honest man, only rascals. They wanted something for nothing. I gave them nothing for something. -- Joseph "Yellow Kid" Weil

Working...