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Journal: Political ads on Slashdot

Journal by Rinisari

I grow weary of the 2008 election political ads which adorn the pages of Slashdot nowadays. McCain seems to have a firm grasp on Slashdot's ad space, something which I'm sure is not purposeful on the part of the powers-that-be, but rather a well-targeted campaign from the McCain camp. This Jim Gerlach running for the PA 6th also has many ads, but the number of AZ senator's impressions simply dwarf that of Mr. Gerlach.

McCain's policies would do little more than hurt the average Slashdotter, so I question why the ancient senator would bother trying. Slashdot is decidedly libertarian in thought, even though its clientèle may vote Democrat or Republican most of the time. If my assessment is incorrect, then I would assume that Obama would have more of a chance of wooing Slashdotters--he's already gained support from the likes of Lawrence Lessig, Wil Wheaton, and Randall Munroe.

I would honestly like to see Bob Barr advertise on Slashdot, even if just to further spread the message of liberty and Constitutionalism.

User Journal

Journal: How to tell if Comcast is messing with BitTorrent?

Journal by Rinisari

Most people, at least Slashdot readers, have heard or read that Comcast is allegedly using some sort of packet shaping or packet inspection to "delay" BitTorrent seeding (uploading in BitTorrent parlance). Downloading works fine, but seeding is nearly impossible unless one enables encryption. I've seen this myself—I attempted to download Ubuntu 7.10 and let it seed last weekend while I was out of town for a wedding. After two days, I had completed the download, but I'd uploaded a mere 28 MB. There were more than 5,000 seeds, too.

Here's where it gets fishy. The day prior, I'd downloaded Ubuntu 7.10 on a Windows® box with uTorrent. It seeded just fine—uTorrent enables encryption by default. However, I used another computer to seed during the weekend, one running KTorrent on Kubuntu 7.04. Encryption was not enabled. I enabled it remotely (ssh tunnel to vnc), and suddenly, the seeding started. In the next two days before I returned, I'd seeded more than 2 GB.

So, this brings me to my actual question, or petition for assistance. How can I tell if Comcast is actively injecting RST packets as the AP and TorrentFreak have confirmed? How can I test this, other than by watching peers attempt to connect vainly?

I want to conduct the same tests so that I have the results for myself. There are three local newspapers in my area which service Comcast customers, and a well-written, data-backed letter to the editor might get enough people in a furor to actually call the local Comcast office and complain.

User Journal

Journal: Capstone

Journal by Rinisari

I have more or less decided on what I'm going to do for my undergrad capstone project: a router distro with a focus on LAN party software. It will act as a NATting router, DHCP, DNS, BitTorrent, IRC, DC++, and Web server, and possibly some others (XMPP, etc.).

Although I haven't decided what distro I'm going to use as a base, I'm leaning towards Linux From Scratch, more specifically Hardened Linux From Scratch. Hardened is more geared toward routers and other network-edge devices.

I'm also going to draw a lot of package ideas from DD-WRT. I've recently become involved in that project (some wiki maintenance and forum activity) and I'm slowly building toward being able to compile my own firmwares (still a long way off, though).

I should have a wiki up with more of my ideas within a couple of weeks. I'm really excited about this project.

Space

Journal: "Big Bang: it's just an opinion," says a NASA intern 1

Journal by helioquake
According to the article posted in NYT this morning, 24-yrs old political appointee, George Deutsch, at NASA claims that, I quote:

"The Big Bang is 'not proven fact; it is opinion,' Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, 'It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator.'"


He's a recent graduate of Texas A&M University with no advanced degree in science. He was one of the active campaign supporter of the current administration. Wonder no more how to earn a prestigeous NASA position without having strong science and engineering background!
User Journal

Journal: Successful launch of Suzaku (Astro-E2)

Journal by helioquake

The 2nd time is a charm...five years after the failure of the launch of ASTRO-E1, it's the time for redemption...that's what these good guys over ISAS (now JAXA) have done last night...ASTRO-E2/M-V-6 rocket was successfully launched from Uchinoura Space Center on 23:30 EDT, on July 9th, 2005, and has entered into the scheduled orbit. The separation of the satellite itself from the third stage has been confirmed also. The satellite is now officially named as "Suzaku" which is supposedly a bird god in the ancient Japanese folklore.

In a few days, we will know for sure if we have a newly functional X-ray astronomical observatory in space.

This mission is primarily supported by Japanese government, plus the unique mission instrument designed and provided by NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, etc.

Education

Journal: Religion is the worst human invention 1

Journal by helioquake

I'm agnostic. I know the difference between right and wrong. My parents told me three key things in life: don't steal; don't hurt; and be kind.

And now a question: if I am not a religious person, am I a bad person?

I cannot stand God's fan club: religion. Remember guys, RELIGION IS MAN-MADE CONCEPT. It is how fellow humans interpreted God's thought and will. Its ulterior motive is "perfected" by humans, not by God himself.

Again, I have no problem believing the existence of higher-power, or things and events we cannot describe in terms of science. But geez, I wouldn't want to take mere human's idea for granted. That just seems laughably ludicrous to me.

Space

Journal: Why invest in science?

Journal by helioquake

I posted the following on Deep Impact thread:

Exploration and investment are the reasons for a mission like this.

The former -- exploration -- is what NASA and scientists will advertise in front. Why? Because we know so little about comets. Imagine, if the judgement day comes and we have to "shoot down" one of these in order to save the humanity, wouldn't you be rather comfortable to know what and how comets are really made of? We really do not know what happens to a comet when we toss a stick of dynamite into it, as its structural integrity is not well known.

The latter -- investment -- is the second and the foremost important reason. In order for a super-power nation to sustain its technological supremacy in this world, its government must invest its money for the advancement of engineering and science [*]. The investment to a NASA's mission like this may not seem as important as an investment toward curing cancer, etc., but such assessment is near-sighted. For example, building of a scientific instrument requires a miniaturization of electronic component (in order to reduce its size and weight). Each component is also certified to withstand harsh cosmic environment (sudden changes in temperature and severe bombardment by cosmic radiation). The skills learned through these R&D may eventually trickle down to the industry, and hence possibly leading to development of affordable high-tech components (e.g., IC chips in a decade ago). Basically the high cost of R&D may be paid by the government and the industry would benefit from such learned knowledge. It is not too surprising that a medical breakthrough on cancer may come from the spread of affordable technology obtained through space research.

[*] There was no time in history that a single nation had dominated the world without its technological advantage.

But at the bottom line, the choice is up to you and other constituents in the nation. You ask your representatives to choose either to feed the hungry right now or to invest on the future. I'm inclined to choose the latter.

User Journal

Journal: Rant Number 1

Journal by Rinisari
Well, this is the first of many /. journal entries for me, Rinisari, user 521266. My site, Colingrad, will be up shortly, once I find a quality provider. I'm nearing a year in my relationship with my beautiful girlfriend, Megan. She's a really good artist!

A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable. -- Thomas Jefferson

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