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Comment: The whole outrage over this makes me angry (Score 1) 287

by Sierran (#42634257) Attached to: JSTOR an Entitlement For US DoJ's Ortiz & Holder

...it's not like there haven't been young people committing suicide after being railroaded on charges for things they absolutely didn't do, in this country, for years.

But they're minorities and poor and must have been guilty, right?

Let a tech-elite white kid run afoul of the legal mechanisms, though...

Comment: What are we doing (seriously) (Score 1) 395

by Sierran (#37225412) Attached to: Hurricane Irene Prompts Unprecedented Evacuation of NYC

I can't speak for most. I can speak for the ten or twelve of us who compared notes at work today over the snark. Sure, we're being flip. But there's no sense being stupid. Things I'm doing which we all thought seemed like a good plan:

1) Remembering that the winds aren't a big deal.
2) Being happy I live in a high spot, so rather than evacuating:
3) Stockpiling water (1-liter thermoplastic seltzer bottles ftw)
4) Freezing some of those (thermal inertia ftw if we lose power, plus, tasty cold water)
5) Making sure we have a week of food in the house for peeps *and* cats (check, I usually do, could prob. go 2 on what we have)
6) Making sure I have cash in the house (ATMs might die if net/power goes)
7) Making sure I have candles and lighters/matches
8) Making sure I have adequate whisky!


Comment: Keep perspective (Score 4, Informative) 395

by Sierran (#37225110) Attached to: Hurricane Irene Prompts Unprecedented Evacuation of NYC

300,000 people and the 'affected areas' are a relatively small percentage of New York City. The vast majority of New Yorkers are doing what we normally do when doom is predicted - snark, ignore, and stock up on liquor and cigarettes.

Seriously, though, there's no way New York City itself could be evacuated without something on the scale of Dunkirk. The thought of 8 million people trying to escape over a mere 4 or 5 Interstate-class roads makes a lot of us laugh at the idea of the 'go bag' that the authorities and preparedness obsessives keep talking about. If anything happened that was big enough to force a major evac on NYC, we'd be going nowhere so fast due to traffic we'd end up using all three changes of clothes just sitting in cars or in train stations or airports. So unless the 'crisis' is fairly personal, I plan on having lots of time to pack whatever's needed - or to make sure I have the requisite amount of booze and books to see me through the forting up!


Comment: Re:Americans are worse (Score 5, Interesting) 220

by Sierran (#36212618) Attached to: Creator of China's Great Firewall Pelted With Shoes

At least the Chinese do something about it. Unlike Americans who sit down watching tv and drinking beer and bitching on slashdot (and never doing anything about it) while their government not only censors their internet connections, but the whole worlds.

This is why Americans are so fucking hypocrites. Do whatever you want on your own land, but leave rest of the world alone. We don't want your bullshit around here in Europe, and the rest of the world.

Now don't get me wrong, I don't approve of censoring the internet for any reason. Nor do I approve of the U.S. government's record on IP-related enforcement *or* electronic freedoms. However, I should note that your angry objection is overwhelmingly colored by the fact that all of your links seem to point to a single source - torrentfreak.com - and all seem to involve actions taken during IP related seizures and enforcement. I realize that in your anger, you won't be able to separate me from the IP apologists, but I appeal to your cooler-headed colleagues of the copyleft movement and its ilk. Understand that a clumsy and self-centered attempt at comparison like this - IP enforcement to the Great Firewall - just makes you and your cause (which I mostly agree with) look...um...selfish, self-centered, and not too bright.

Not to put too fine a point on it, it sounds like you're comparing the effects of the Great Firewall on the citizens/netizens of China to the effects on you, somewhere (as you say) other than America, because...you can't download bittorrents.

That demeans the struggle that the Chinese are undertaking.

Suck it up.

Comment: Multiple methods are helpful (Score 1) 266

by Sierran (#35761144) Attached to: I back up personal files...

I have a 'personal documents' folder which fits within my Dropbox limit, so those files are on the cloud and multiple computers. The only place I use files other than from there is on my main desktop at home, which has an external drive holding a Time Machine backup (one update/day so as not to age the drive as fast) and a nightly SuperDuper backup (SuperDuper is utter win). Finally, I have a 4TB RAID6 NAS at home where my non-critical files (ripped DVDs, ripped music) is stored as well as an automatic weekly copy of the SuperDuper backup from my desktop.

Comment: Article has problems with facts (Score 4, Informative) 131

by Sierran (#33779794) Attached to: Anti-Piracy Lawyers Caught Pirating Each Other

The article presents the situation as Andrew Crossley being in conflict with ACS:Law over the use of templates. The problem with that is that Andrew Crossley is in fact the proprietor ("principal?" Don't know the correct term) of ACS:Law, so it would be difficult for ACS:Law to steal his work. To quote WikiP: "The main partner of the company, and its only registered solicitor is Andrew Crossley."

Comment: No fuel efficiency bonus (Score 4, Informative) 317

by Sierran (#33260440) Attached to: Cambered Tires Can Improve Fuel Economy

The summary and the article it was taken from are misleading and poorly written. They only use the term 'fuel efficiency' to describe one possible effect of mucking around with your tires in general, probably by increasing their pressure or using harder tires. However, the CamberTire appears to have nothing to do with tire rigidity - and hence fuel economy - whatsoever. What the article appears to describe is a tire which is optimized by shape for negative camber, in order to improve handling of the vehicle, without the faster tire wear that putting negative camber on regular symmetrical tires produces.

WIth negative camber, the tire will be able to withstand more lateral force since it is angled out at the bottom, 'into' the turns. Thus it will be able to corner harder without losing grip.

Comment: Re:Whoops (Score 5, Interesting) 622

by Sierran (#26872313) Attached to: Nuclear Subs 'Collide In Ocean'

Nuclear submarines, and especially ballistic missile submarines, don't communicate with anyone at sea unless it's absolutely critical. Communicating gives away your position, and for such submarines, the fact that nobody outside the hull knows exactly where it is is their number one means of survivability. In addition, ballistic missile subs don't have 'allies' - they treat even the surface and submarine forces of their own navy as 'potential hostiles' when at sea in order to maximize their survivability and to continually train to avoid such threats.

Collisions between submarines were fairly common during the Cold War, and were indicative of the amount of time subs spent playing 'hide and seek' with their opponents - because in order to gain intelligence on other submarines, or even to follow them reliably, subs have to be quite close relative to how long it takes them to stop or turn. As a result, however, most collisions were between or involved attack submarines. For two SSBNs to involved in such a bump, either one or the other had to be involved in SSN-like games, or pretty astronomical odds were just surmounted in a random collision. It's a big ocean. It'll be interesting to see precisely where the damage to the two boats is, as it might tell us what aspect they collided at - I have heard it was a slight angle from head-on. Even that doesn't meant they weren't playing silly buggers - if one submarine turned to check its baffles and the other didn't maneuver out of the way, that could result in an angled head-on.

The Internet

Smart Spam Filtering For Forums and Blogs? 183

Posted by timothy
from the world-will-beat-a-path-to-your-door dept.
phorm writes "While filtering for spam on email and other related mediums seems to be fairly productive, there is a growing issue with spam on forums, message-boards, blogs, and other such sites. In many cases, sites use prevention methods such as captchas or question-answer values to try and restrict input to human-only visitors. However, even with such safeguards — and especially with most forms of captcha being cracked fairly often these days — it seems that spammers are becoming an increasing nuisance in this regard. While searching for plugins or extensions to spamassassin etc I have had little luck finding anything not tied into the email framework. Google searches for PHP-based spam filtering tends to come up with mostly commercial and/or more email-related filters. Does anyone know of a good system for filtering spam in general messages? Preferably such a system would be FOSS, and something with a daemon component (accessible by port or socket) to offer quick response-times."

Remote Exploit of Vista Speech Control 372

Posted by kdawson
from the format-C-yes dept.
An anonymous reader writes "George Ou writes in his blog that he found a remote exploit for the new and shiny Vista Speech Control. Specifically, websites playing soundfiles can trigger arbitrary commands. Ou reports that Microsoft confirmed the bug and suggested as workarounds that either 'A user can turn off their computer speakers and/or microphone'; or, 'If a user does run an audio file that attempts to execute commands on their system, they should close the Windows Media Player, turn off speech recognition, and restart their computer.' Well, who didn't see that coming?"

When some people discover the truth, they just can't understand why everybody isn't eager to hear it.