Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Math

Journal: help with math 1

Journal by corbettw

Hopefully somehow out there is better with math than I.

Suppose a giant ball of ice, 130km in diameter (water volume significantly greater than the Great Lakes) were to strike the moon at a speed of 3km/s (just above the moon's escape velocity). If my math is right, most of the water will remain on the moon in the newly formed crater, though I'm sure a significant amount would sublimate away over time.

Any help would be appreciated.

Oh, and this is for a possible scifi story. I just want to make sure the basis for the drama is at least plausible, it doesn't have to be 100% exact.
The question, how much water would end up left behind? I'm not sure if it would rival Lake Superior, Lake Erie, some other lake, or essentially none at all.

User Journal

Journal: Tags? 3

Journal by corbettw

Am I the only one who can't see tags on stores in the new Slashdot 3.0? No matter which story I'm looking at, there are no tags showing up. Which is too bad, because there's usually a lot of meta-humor contained in those things.

If anyone else had this problem and fixed it, please let me know what to do. I'm using the latest Firefox on WinXP SP2.

User Journal

Journal: Freedom is free 2

Journal by corbettw

I had a realization the other day, and thought I'd share it with my fellow Slashdotters.

I was watching one of the viral videos for McCain, by a former Army sergeant who lost his leg in Iraq. He was speaking to Obama, telling him why he wouldn't vote for him, and ended his message with the cliche that "freedom isn't free".

I beg to differ. Freedom is most certainly free. None of us are free because we are Americans; we aren't free because of the men and women who have risked their lives to safeguard our borders and national interests; and we certainly aren't free because of politicians who give rousing speeches before thousands.

We're free because we're human beings. We have an inherent freedom, built into the fabric of our beings and selves. It's not something that can be taken away or given by another. And it's something that all people, throughout the world and throughout time, have.

Yes, we are fortunate to live in a land where the laws recognize this freedom, at least for the most part. But don't ever think you owe your freedom to the actions of any person, or groups of people. They didn't make you free; you were free long before they made whatever sacrifices they may have made, and will remain free long after those sacrifices are forgotten.

The reason this is important to remember is, if we start thanking our servicemen and women "for their service", with the understanding that they somehow gave us our freedom, well, anyone who can give a thing, can take that thing away. We mustn't allow ourselves to fall into the trap of worshipping our military, or thinking that all we have in our lives comes from their beneficence. It's a very small step from that kind of thinking to giving up control of our lives and our liberties to men in uniform.

former IT1, USNR

User Journal

Journal: Nintendo Announces DSi and Wii storage solution

Journal by AKAImBatman

Earlier this morning, Nintendo made several major announcements in a press conference in Japan. Ranging from a new Nintendo DS to a Wii storage solution. Nintendo's first announcement was a brand-new handheld in the Nintendo DS line of consoles. This revision of the DS brand will be a significant break from the previous DS Lite console. It will be named "Nintendo DSi". (Nintendo DS-Eye, get it?) Nintendo also announced a solution to the Wii storage problem. Unfortunately, it sounds like players will be able to download to their SD Card, but not actually play games directly from the card.

Firehose Link: http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=1225579

(Still trying to figure out if the firehose does anything.)

User Journal

Journal: Frustration with local Libertarian Party 7

Journal by corbettw

UPDATE: Problem solved, I've gotten in touch with other local officials, and apparently the whole thing was just a misunderstanding. Everyone's happy and working together again. Thanks for the input and words of encouragement I've received from everyone who sent them.

I don't think I've been this frustrated with a party official in my life. I so much want to start helping the Libertarian Party get candidates elected (just see my sig and about a hundred different comments from me in the last month to show that), and the first time I really reach out to a local party official, this is the response I got.

At least when I contacted the Republicans in Arizona eight years ago, they welcomed me with open arms. It's guys like this that will keep the Libertarians from ever holding elective office in this country. Considering the fact that I consider the Republican party broken and the Libertarian party the way of the future for social libs/economic conservatives, guys like this will have to be pushed aside to make room for others who are more willing to welcome change.

Who wants to help me do that?

Cory
(all phone numbers and email addresses left intact...please feel free to email or call Mr. Benedict and let him know what you think of him...or email me and flame me all you want, as the case may be)

I'd like to forward your emails to other people and post it on blogs. Let me know if you don't want me to do that.

--Wes Benedict
Executive Director
Libertarian Party of Texas
512-442-4910

Cory Waddingham wrote:
> Wes,
>
> Your arrogance is extremely infuriating. I may not have had the time in the past to help out, but what am I supposed to do when the person I reach out to shuts me down?
>
> You need to reach out to new people, and pull your head out of your ass.
>
> Cory
>
>
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Wes Benedict <wesliberty@aol.com>
> To: Cory Waddingham <cory@waddingham.org>
> Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2008 1:30:52 AM
> Subject: Re: work before November
>
> Cory,
>
> I suspect you are trying to sell something.
>
> Since you have no money to contribute, have never contributed to the LP Texas or the National LP according to my records, and no reputation as a volunteer in Texas, and I get solicited constantly, I'll let you know right now that I am getting irritated by your solicitations.
>
> After you have spent 20 hours or so putting up 1,000 door hangers in Texas, we can talk about your new ideas.
> --Wes Benedict
> Executive Director
> Libertarian Party of Texas
> 512-442-4910
>
>
>
> Cory Waddingham wrote:
>> Wes,
>>
>> Last time we corresponded over email, I mentioned that I'm working in Virginia. I've arranged to come back home and work from there for the next two months, starting Labor Day weekend. I'd like to schedule some time to present some ideas on how to get out the Libertarian vote in November in Collin County. I can't access the group websites from work, are there any planned events coming up in the near future? Have you already scheduled any phone banks, mailings, or anything like that?
>>
>> Cory

User Journal

Journal: hosting on the dark side

Journal by corbettw

First, let me state up front: I don't trust Google. I think they track entirely too much data about their users, and I don't trust them to use it wisely or fairly enough of the time.

That said, I've had to move the hosting for my Open Source project, Power Time, from SourceForge to Google Code. SourceForge was just too unresponsive, and it took forever to simply add a release file. Google Code makes it much easier to release updates; so much so, that I didn't think I had a choice but to use the service.

Besides which, a Google search for "time management", "power time", "consultant billing", or related keywords didn't find my project. I'm hoping that'll change now that they're the hosting provider, and maybe I'll get a few more downloads (which might lead to more consulting gigs, eg more money for me).

User Journal

Journal: New site

Journal by corbettw

I'm working on something new, klatchr.com. I don't know what it is yet, but when I'll do I'll let you know if you're curious.

User Journal

Journal: Party at my place! 5

Journal by corbettw

OK, not really my place, but the bar/restaurant where my coworkers and I usually go for happy hour on Fridays. Any and all are welcome. Let's see if we can't get a decent sized turn out for this.

Oh, and the bribe (almost forgot about that): since this is ostensibly IT related, I'll pick up the tab for the first two drinks for each person. And by "I" I mean "my boss's corporate card".

To clarify: I'll need to collect business cards to pick up the tab. Sorry, that's the way things are. If you don't have a business card, just put your name and work number down on a scrap of paper. And do try to be honest, this is for posterity.

User Journal

Journal: Moderation stalking -- UPDATED -- UPDATED AGAIN, LAST UPDATE 18

Journal by corbettw

Once again, someone went and down modded five of my comments in a two to three minute span of time. All of these comments were from stories that ranged from one to three days old, not old enough to be archived, but not exactly active, either.

This time, I decided to write to the powers that be: Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda. So far, it's proven to be an exercise in futility. Below is the email conversation we've had up to this point, going from oldest to newest email. Be sure to read the whole thing to keep things in perspective, and read on to the end where I've included a call to action.

Monday September 24, 9:04 am CST, from me to Taco
Rob,

My username on Slashdot is corbettw, and I think I'm being "stalked"
(for lack of a better term). I'm hoping you can help.

For several months now, there's been an ongoing campaign by some
person to mod all of my comments down. Just today, when I logged I had a message
about comment moderation: five moderations with minutes, all on different
stories, and all negative. Usually they're Overrated (which, of course, isn't
meta-moderated), but sometimes they're Troll (which is ludicrous).
It's obvious to me that someone is doing this on purpose. I've seen my
karma rating go from Excellent (where it's been for years), down to Good,
and now today down to Positive. Is there anything you guys can do to stop this
kind of stalking moderation?

I know there are more important things in the world than one's karma
rating on /., but it's still pretty annoying and is the only negative thing
on an otherwise favorite site. If there's anything you guys can do to cut
down on this, it would be much appreciated.

Cory

Monday September 24, 9:40 am CST, from Taco to me
I'll look into this and see if anything suspect is happening. Thanks
for the heads up.

Monday September 24, 2:41 pm CST, from me to Taco
I don't know if Slashcode gives you the ability to do this, but maybe you could put a check in place where, if someone moderates comments by the same user more than twice in a 24 hour window, they lose any moderation points in their pool and all recent moderations (within the previous 24 hours, for example) are undone. Though you might only limit it to negative moderations, since it doesn't really hurt anyone if someone gives their friends positive moderations all at once.

Just an idea, I have no idea how workable it is.

Monday September 24, 5:30 pm CST, from Taco to me
there are a number of checks in place to prevent extreme abuses. Don't worry ;)

Monday September 24, 9:25 pm CST, from me to Taco
Well, you might want to double check those checks, because they don't seem to be working all that well. I've heard from several other people today that they've been hit by the same thing.

Like I said before, my karma has gone from Excellent down to Positive. Maybe you guys just need to do away with Overrated, and keep a link to metamoderation up on the front page on a more regular basis (instead of swapping it out for the firehose and other links, like you started doing a few months ago).

Tuesday September 25, 7:03 am CST, from Taco to me
if anyone really thinks this is happening, they need to contact me and
not bitch somewhere that I might not see them. I gotta say- the # of
people that blame conspiracy on simply being modded down by random
users is pretty amazing... what you describe DOES occasionally happen.
But more often, people just can't BELIEVE that 3 people might call
them out on their obviously wonderful perfect flawless genius posts :)

Meta moderation is a difficult thing. We need more people to do it,
but the link is being ignored.

As for karma going from excellent to positive, I don't see that as
much of a big deal. Karma doesn't matter except to be negative or
positive really.

Tuesday September 25, 7:11 am CST, from me to Taco
Don't misunderstand me, it's not that Positive karma is bad, per se. Hell, I wouldn't even care if it was Negative, it doesn't really affect my life. But the speed with which it's dropped is the concern. And I'm not talking about 3 mod downs, I'm talking about 5, all within two to three minutes, all on stories that are two or three days old. It's blatantly obvious that one of my foes is going through my recent posts and modding them down. This isn't what the moderation system is meant for.

I'm a sarcastic, opinionated, guy (which is why I like Slashdot, duh). So, yeah, I'll say trollish things sometimes, or make a snarky comment that's not directly on topic. So the occasional Off-topic or Troll mod doesn't faze me. It's the obvious pattern of stalking behavior that's going on that has me concerned, and that's what I wanted to bring to your attention.

Not everybody is willing to contact you directly about this, for whatever reason(s). Rather than ignore an obvious problem, why don't you post a story on it? Bring the problem out into the open, and give people a forum on the front page for addressing the problem. You might be surprised how many people this has happened to.

Tuesday September 25, 7:25 am CST, from Taco to me
the faq pretty clearly explains to contact me in cases of abuse.

Tuesday September 25, 7:57 am CST, from me to Taco
OK, so now someone has contacted you about it. Now what?

That's where it stands as of now. I'll update as things progress. In the meantime, if you're reading this, and you've experienced the scenario I've described, PLEASE EMAIL CMDRTACO at Slashdot and share your experience(s) with him. He's obviously willing to ignore this problem until enough people complain about it.

UPDATE:
I just received another email from Taco. Here it is:
Tuesday September 25, 8:08 am CST, from Taco to me
I've looked into the allegations of abuse and made my decision about
what needs to be done about it. It's my policy not to explain
specifically what I find (or don't) or what I do (or don't do) in
response.

Hopefully this satisfies you... and hopefully you understand the need
to be coy on the matter... I've had this work out both ways- if I
find no abuse and tell you, sometimes readers will go post and bitch
that I'm a liar. If I *do* find abuse and tell you that, sometimes
readers will turn around and post their 'haha' message to say someone
got busted.

Quite simply, the mod system is an ongoing project with problems and
mistakes... its a constant balancing act... and since we have a small
percentage of assholes, there will ALWAYS be little problems in the
system. The question is how much we can do to stop assholes without
restricting the vaaaast majority of readers who are cool and
trustworthy.

September 25, 8:13 am CST, from me to Taco
Fair enough, although I have to say it's usually better to be open and up front about things like this rather than hide. That policy hasn't worked out too well for the current administration in the White House, I'm not sure why you think it'll work out any better for you.

My only goal in this is to help improve the Slashdot experience, so to help with that I've posted about this in my journal. I'm trying to raise the attention level of this problem.

I'll let you know if I see the same problem re-occurring. Hopefully more people will start contacting you directly about it, and it will finally get resolved.

(Yes, I'm assuming you're blowing this off. I have no evidence to the contrary, and most of your emails on this subject have displayed a very dismissive view on the problem. If that's not the case, then please let me know.)

LAST UPDATE:

Last email from Taco (it's his site, he gets the last word)
September 25 8:51 am CST, from Taco to me
Well, your journal post at least clearly demonstrates why I don't
spell out results of abuse investigations to readers...

Anyway, despite your attitude and insinuations, I welcome notification
from anyone with legitimate concern of abuse. While real abuse is
fairly rare, reader feedback is a key part of us dealing with the
problem when it arises.

So that's the end of the story, kids. Just make sure you email Taco about any problems, and we can all make this a better place to trade ideas and thoughts.

User Journal

Journal: Again with the -1 to five comments at once

Journal by corbettw

Once again, some fool with too much time on their hands decided to mod five of my comments as either Overrated, Redundant (when it wasn't), or Offtopic (again, when it wasn't), all at once. It makes me feel sad for these people, who have nothing better to do than try to silence people with whom they disagree. Can't they focus on lifting up conversations, instead of trying to censor everyone they don't like?

User Journal

Journal: WiiCade Open Sources Flash API

Journal by AKAImBatman

Slashdot doesn't seem to get much news about Wii Homebrewing, so I thought I'd throw out an article on the latest updates to the popular Wii Web Gaming site WiiCade.

According to GoNintendo, they have released a new version of their Wii Remote API under a combination of the GPL and LGPL licenses. To sweeten the pot, this new version offers cool new features like IR-Based Motion Sensing, 4 player support, control over zooming, and partial Nunchuk support.

To celebrate, WiiCade released 5 new games that use these features. These games are Icy's Droplet Gathering Adventure, Space Shooting Mania, Asteroid Falldown, Bumper Car Madness, and Catch a Falling Star. It looks like someone has already released another game called WiiCade Snake. And for you Bush lovers/haters out there, they also have a Make Your Own Bush Speech "game". If you're into that sort of amusement, that is.

I personally recommend Bumper Car Madness. It's a rather crazy and fun arcade game that has you competing to see who can get the most tokens. It offers three control schemes, two which allow you to steer by twisting the remote, one which follows the cursor. It's tons of fun, especially with friends.

It looks like they also got a new look to go with the upgrade. Decide for yourselves if it's better or not. I like it, though. :-)

User Journal

Journal: Interesting Misconception 4

Journal by AKAImBatman

Today's lesson on taking things out of context. Here's a post I made today:

How is Science any different from groupthink? Scientists are no where near as impartial as they claim to be. The only checks and balances in place are reviews by scientific peers!

Think about it.

Shocked yet? Frightened at how I could possibly say such a thing? Clamoring for the mods to continue my fall to oblivion? I even got this response from an AC:

You're usually more level headed than this. I think you're just being silly.

Interesting thing, though. No one read the context. Here's the post I was replying to:

How are they different from groupthink? or the political bias at times that persists in Wikipedia?

Their top level admins are no where near as impartial as they claim to be. Obvious subjects to avoid on Wikipedia are those which are based on religious, political, or environmental, concerns. People have taken "maintaining" those types of entries to ridiculous levels that whole pages of discussion exist behind the page where the various factions bitch at each other. The best way to see the bias is to watch what they require to have accredited links and what they do not, let alone what sites they consider credible sources for disputed information.

While it has much useful information there are just certain subjects to avoid

Now let's re-read my text in context:

How are they different from groupthink? or the political bias at times that persists in Wikipedia?

Their top level admins are no where near as impartial as they claim to be.

How is Science any different from groupthink? Scientists are no where near as impartial as they claim to be. The only checks and balances in place are reviews by scientific peers!

See it? Still want my head on a platter?

An interesting experience.

User Journal

Journal: My new moderation rules 2

Journal by corbettw

Thanks to several instances of getting five '-1, Overrated' mods on various posts of mine within a few minutes of each other (even when the posts in question occur days apart from each other), I've decided to fight fire with fire: whenever I get mod points, I systematically go through my friends and fans, find people who have either been modded down or don't get a karma bonus, and mod up whatever I can with '+1, Underrated'.

I call this method the "Share Your Voices" method of moderation. If you're reading this, please consider joining me in this effort to ensure that libertarian and conservative voices are not shut out by the censoring whores of the left on this site.

As for wasting my points on marking things as Overrated, I'll leave it to the leftists on Slashdot to hurt people, I'd rather try to help my friends than stifle my enemies.

Editorial

Journal: iPhone: Why So Negative? 4

Journal by AKAImBatman

I just got back from reading the Chicago Tribune's various stories on the iPhone. The reviews were very positive, if not a bit reserved. Sales may have topped 500,000 units. And sales have been so good that the AT&T activation servers have been overloaded. All in all, a very good launch for the iPhone. Not perfect mind you, but nothing ever is.

So imagine my surprise when I checked Slashdot this morning to find that the only story on the launch is Activation Problems in iPhone Paradise. No mention of the 500,000 unit estimate. Nor is there mention of the strongly positive reaction by the market. The only thing discussed is the activation problems, which are blown incredibly out of proportion. From the "long-wait-short-celebration" department tag, to a link to an engadget poll that won't let you see the results unless you vote (There's no "I don't have an iPhone option?" WTH?), all the way to using a random blog of one guy's experience as the basis for what all ~500,000 users (estimated) are experiencing.

Maybe it's just me, but this has gone way too far.

Slashdot is a place where intelligent people tend to hang out to converse. Because these people know a lot, they easily become jaded. I know that I personally have struggled a great deal with becoming unintentionally negative. And it's not necessarily the problem of dealing with people who know less. That's a reasonable excuse for tech support reps, but it doesn't hold up for professionals. In fact, I often find that I can become so indoctrinated in a certain way of thinking (because I know quite a bit about it) that anything that seems to violate that doctrine must be wrong.

Of course, this is a very dangerous trap. There are always clever ways around problems without violating the laws of physics. In fact, the solution presented often solves the problem in a very unique way that requires a dramatic shift in thinking.

For example, hydrogen cars are often criticized for requiring grid power to generate the hydrogen. Thus many discount the option because it "doesn't provide an alternative fuel source". Which is true, but it misses the point. Hydrogen provides a shift in the way that our infrastructure works. Rather than having millions of inefficient, dirty, smog-inducing, portable combustion engines on the road, we could generate all the power from relatively clean and efficient sources like Nuclear power plants then distribute that power to a "vehicle grid" using hydrogen as the storage and transmission device. From that perspective, hydrogen suddenly becomes a lot more appealing. (Without diving into the logistics issues of converting fueling stations, of course.)

Thus I can't help but wonder, is Slashdot getting too negative for its own good? I've been noticing a sharp increase in stories that are either overblown or outright inaccurate. From PopCap Distressed Over 'CopyCat' Games (the original interview states that PopCap is distinctly unaffected by clones), to W3C Bars Public From Public Conference (the newsie apparently couldn't understand English), to Judge Orders TorrentSpy to Turn Over RAM (Judge ordered web logging to be turned on), I'm beginning to wonder if the general status of the Slashdot users and editors isn't taking a turn for the worse. I'm seeing fewer and fewer stories with a positive slant. Those that do have a positive slant are either overblown claims (which results in a negative reaction) or misreported claims (which results in the same negative reaction, except that all of Slashdot is barking up the wrong tree).

While I understand that much of the confusion and negativity is pouring out of the press, it's important to keep a cool head on our shoulders and think critically about every piece of information we see. While I don't directly blame the Slashdot editors or the readers, I do think that all of us can make a contribution toward positive reenforcement on Slashdot. We readers can do two things:

1. Try to make sure that the stories we submit are correctly stated and reflect the true issue at hand.

2. Keep our replies civil. It's so easy for all of us (myself included) to get mad at the other guy thinking he doesn't know what he's talking about. Yet sometimes he actually does. So please be gentle when correcting each other. You'd be amazed at the smart people you'll develop a rapport with!

For the editors, I can offer one major suggestion: Apply critical thinking before smacking that "Approve" button. I know you guys see an absolutely incredible number of submissions day in and day out. The catch is finding the submissions that are worth posting to the front page of Slashdot. As of late it seems like submissions are being chosen more for their yellow (read: inaccurate) headline rather than their substantiveness as news. So please be considerate when choosing submissions.

Thank you all for listening! :-)

User Journal

Journal: Global Warming on Neptune

Journal by corbettw

I tried submitting this item yesterday, and, surprise!, it was rejected. (I even submitted the link to the original article, not the one to Hot Air.)

Suffice to say, we all know Slashdot editors are idiot liberals, and anything that challenges their world view is verboten. But at least they provide journals so people can share news not deemed fit for the pages of /.

The summary of the article is that Neptune is experiencing global warming, and aside from the number of SUVs the Neptunians drive the only thing our two planets have in common is a common sun. So while I'm sure George Bush is still at fault, it looks like the sun is causing global warming, not "carbon emissions".

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.

Working...