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User Journal

Journal: Fuck Beta

Journal by TubeSteak

MOVIN' ON UP. You are on Slashdot Classic. We are starting to move into new digs in February by automatically redirecting greater numbers of you. The new site is a work in progress so Classic Slashdot will be available from the footer for several more months. As we migrate our audience, we want to hear from you to make sure that the redesigned page has all the features you expect. Find out more.

No thanks. And since when did the journal lose its classic /. layout?

User Journal

Journal: Foes

Journal by MyLongNickName

I just got foe'd by someone named 'ScienceFail'. Found it quite curious as I haven't posted anything even remotely close to controversial in quite a while and this guy has zero posts. My best guess is he is an alternate account for someone. I wish there were some mechanism for letting someone know why you foe'd them (or friended them). Just curious.

User Journal

Journal: Slashdot ID's by year 18

Journal by MyLongNickName

I've asked the question and so have a lot of slashdotters... Given a slashdot ID, when did it become active? Okay, this is less than perfect, but after a couple hours reviewing December 31 story postings for the past 14 years, I have a pretty good idea of which Slashdot ID's were active by end-of-year.

Date Highest ID Source
12/31/2011 2537066 http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=2597818&cid=38540924
12/31/2010 1968314 http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1931212&cid=34724780
12/31/2009 1711968 http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1494398&cid=30626214
12/31/2008 1435429 http://news.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1074965&cid=26264019
12/31/2007 1210278 http://it.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=402646&cid=21872504
12/31/2006 1045190 http://yro.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=214364&cid=17417768
12/31/2005 942449 http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=172606&cid=14371693
12/31/2004 840443 http://tech.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=134485&cid=11229842
12/31/2003 735991 http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=91126&cid=7847024
12/31/2002 636838 http://science.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=49387&cid=4989860
12/31/2001 545364 http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=25495&cid=2769167
12/31/2000 267378 http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=9653&cid=1419014
12/31/1999 131305 http://ask.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3140&cid=1427714
12/31/1998 ??? No posts in 1998, yet I see a usre id of 170,000+ on 1/1/1999. Does not correspond with 12/31/1999 findings.

User Journal

Journal: Copyright Reform

Journal by TubeSteak

The Economist Weighs In For Shorter Copyright Terms
I suggest we drop by the house of everyone that doesn't understand IF YOU DONT LIKE IT DON'T WATCH/READ/LISTEN TO IT, and slap them in the side of the head.
-This is the best presentation of an argument I've heard in weeks. I can't imagine why you've never run for public office.
--It would be far too exhausting. Can you imagine how many voters would need their heads slapped during the campaign?

Wanted: Campaign volunteers
Requirements: At least one hand and a desire to change the country

Campaign slogans:
"Hit the IP industry where it hurts: Upside their heads."
"How can she slap? She slaps for copyright reform."
"Communicate with today's voters the way their parents once did: with a slap."
"Would you rather have 14 slaps or 95 slaps? We feel the same way about the length of copyright."
"How many slaps does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop?"

-This message sponsored by Students Litigating Against Pratty Publishers

User Journal

Journal: NY Times: being anti-tax is an act of vandalism 1

Journal by DesScorp

Robert Frank takes the NYT's standards even lower. Now it seems that if you think lower taxes are better than higher taxes, well, you're some kind of vandal.

"Anti-tax zealots denounce all taxation as theft, as depriving citizens of their right to spend their hard-earned incomes as they see fit. Yet nowhere does the Constitution grant us the right not to be taxed. Nor does it grant us the right to harm others with impunity. No one is permitted to steal our cars or vandalize our homes. Why should opponents of taxation be allowed to harm us in less direct ways?"

"Be allowed"? Nice, Ill Duce. We'll take that under advisement. BTW, here's what the law actually says about issue:

"Any one may so arrange his affairs that his taxes shall be as low as possible; he is not bound to choose that pattern which will best pay the Treasury; there is not even a patriotic duty to increase one's taxes." - Judge Learned Hand, Helvering v. Gregory, 69 F.2d 809, 810-11 (2d Cir. 1934)

User Journal

Journal: In response to "how to fix work ethic" 1

Journal by MyLongNickName

Where to begin? Growing up, I was probably the brightest (or close to the top) in my school system based on raw intellect. As a child, I scored a 150 on an IQ test. I skipped a grade, and was still put ahead a couple grades for certain classes like math. In state-wide math competitions, I would score in the top fraction of a percent, and in programming competitions would score among the top in individual rankings. I was doing algebra in third grade and was taking high school classes by the time I hit middle school. However, things were always too easy. I never had to work for a thing. As a result I never really developed a work ethic.

This lack of self discipline really began to show through by high school. I could ace most tests, but usually didn't turn in homework, or most other papers. I began skating by with worse and worse grades. There was one other student in my school with the same raw talent as me. Unlike me, he was focused. He always had top notch grades and was very active in leadership positions in extra curricular activities. I was very active with my Nintendo. He and I were always mentioned in the same sentence when the brightest students were talked about. Yet, I knew also that folks commented on the vast difference in work habits and general attitude.

It got really bad in college. Away from home, there was absolutely no one to keep me accountable. I wouldn't show up for classes. A couple times, I showed up for the syllabus, midterms and finals. Nothing else. It didn't take long before I was put on academic probation.

I moved back home and took a job in telemarketing. Top 0.1% of the general population; making ten bucks an hour. In contrast, the other kid who graduated a year behind me had earned a scholarship to MIT and was half way through his Chemical Engineering degree. I felt like (and was) a complete loser. I think it was the realization that I wasn't "all that" was the first step to turning my life around.

I can't tell you exactly when I made the decision, but I decided to go back to school. This time, I was a bit humbler.

I made some changes. I decided I would wear a tie to school each day. Yeah, I stood out a bit and I am sure a few people thought I was a bit off (and they were right). But the act of looking the part helped put me into a different mindset. It might seem a bit strange, but it helped me to take the classes seriously.

Instead of worrying about what classes would get me a degree, I took classes I wanted to -- a smattering of business classes -- a few classes in Japanese -- violin -- boy did I suck at violin. In each experience, I got to meet different types of people and try new things. I learned a lot about myself and had a lot more fun than I ever had. I think this self-discovery and broadening of horizons was the second part of turning my life around.

I still struggled with procrastination and completing the day to day tasks. Sometimes it was a sheer act of will to do homework. But more often than not, I'd get the work done. As time went on, I found it got easier. And I saw the grades climb. Over the next few semesters, I found that I actually became driven to get things done. I put more effort into it; I invested more of myself into my tasks.

A couple years later, I came to know the Lord. It caused quite a change in my values and goals in life. I became involved in an inner city ministry. I was involved in Bible teaching, tutoring, weekend activities, and generally mentoring these kids. I could tell you dozens of stories about some of the kids and the challenges they were facing. But to make a long story short, they had a big impact on me. So many of these kids don't have a chance in the world -- parents who weren't there, failing school systems, temptations that I never had to face. I came to realize how good I had it, and how fortunate I was to have the opportunities I have. I also felt like I had a purpose in life. The lighting of true passion and purpose was the final step to getting on the road of success.

I would graduate at twenty-five with two Bachelors of Science and got started in my career in banking. I volunteered for extra assignments, doing programming to help make things more efficient. I got noticed and moved up quickly in the bank, becoming an officer within five years of my starting. I watched the work habits of those who I respected in higher positions. These folks weren't always the brightest, but knew how to get things done. I learned and applied a lot.

I have moved from the bank for a management position. I will be going back for my master's soon and hope to get into higher levels of management.
Basically, I have learned to truly succeed, you need three things. You need to really know the subject matter you are involved in. Second. You must be passionate about the work that you do. Third, you must care about the people you work with and for. And while, I do sometimes slip into old habits, it doesn't last too long.

I am not sure if this helps anyone else. But if you have any questions, please feel free to ask :)

User Journal

Journal: Just how old is Test First/TDD anyhow?

Journal by Timothy Brownawell

I found this in a rather old book in the library, it sounds remarkably similar to parts of what the TDD / Test First people are saying now:

Another well-known psychological bias in observation is the overdependence on "early" data returns. In program testing, the programmer who gets early "success" with his program is likely to stop testing too soon. One way to guard against this mistake is to prepare the tests in advance of testing and, if possible in advance of coding. We refer here to tests concerned with detecting the presence of errors -- not to all tests. Obviously, we cannot construct tests in advance for locating the source of an error; nor can we construct the procedures for correcting the error once it has been found. But all testing begins with detection, so advance work of test cases is never wasted -- unless we yield to the temptation to bypass the remaining tests in view of the "excellent" results we have so far.

The debugging system could help us to resist this temptation by forcing us to specify in advance the amount of testing we plan to do. Failure to complete this number of tests could result in a management report, or some other form of prodding to the programmer. In general, of course, anything in the testing system that simplifies the preparation and execution of test cases will help the programmer to overcome the temptation to quit too soon. One such system in use today is particularly designed to counteract the temptation to skip retesting when a "small" change has been made to the program. If the test cases are stored in the system and can be rerun automatically on demand, the programmer is less likely to skip the retest. The typical system of this sort, however, produces vast amounts of output. It is hardly useful to rerun test cases if nobody looks at the results of the rerun. A great improvement could be wrought in these systems by providing automatic comparison between old results and new ones, thus calling the programmer's attention only to those cases that differ from one run to the next.

-- "The Psychology of Computer Programming", Copyright 1971

Government

Journal: Lawrence Lessing, enemy of government transparency?

Journal by DesScorp

In the New Republic, copyright activist and professor Lawrence Lessig pens an essay called Against Transparency: The Perils Of Openness In Government (Warning: the essay is 11 pages of some pretty dry writing). Lessig makes the argument that while transparency in government seems like a good thing, it's not always so, and he seemingly worries that there are some things that citizens just wouldn't understand in government if given complete access to data, and that the whole process will simply make voters more cynical. That strikes me as a little lame, and more like "I don't trust voters to make decisions based on what they see".

  Sayeth Lessig:

How could anyone be against transparency? Its virtues and its utilities seem so crushingly obvious. But I have increasingly come to worry that there is an error at the core of this unquestioned goodness. We are not thinking critically enough about where and when transparency works, and where and when it may lead to confusion, or to worse. And I fear that the inevitable success of this movement--if pursued alone, without any sensitivity to the full complexity of the idea of perfect openness--will inspire not reform, but disgust. The "naked transparency movement," as I will call it here, is not going to inspire change. It will simply push any faith in our political system over the cliff.

Government

Journal: NYT Op-Ed calls for one-party rule 7

Journal by DesScorp

New York Times Op-Ed writer Thomas Friedman is showing his true colors. He's advocating "enlightened" one-party rule, as he tires of Republicans refusing to co-operate with Democratic initiatives. Friedman says that we currently have a "one party democracy" because of near-total GOP opposition to Democratic bills, and that perhaps an enlightened one-party autocracy with America's best interests at heart could be the answer. Friedman further thinks China is a good model of government to emulate. "One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century." Friedman flatly states that "our one-party democracy is worse". Perhaps we too can look forward to things like a one-child policy and extensive Internet censorship. Friedman is the type of Liberal Jonah Goldberg was talking about when he wrote Liberal Fascism.

Further, Goldberg says that liberals like Friedman are nothing new, that we've seen this kind of liberal pining for benevolent dictatorship many times before:

"I cannot begin to tell you how this is exactly the argument that was made by American fans of Mussolini in the 1920s. It is exactly the argument that was made in defense of Stalin and Lenin before him (it's the argument that idiotic, dictator-envying leftists make in defense of Castro and Chavez today). It was the argument made by George Bernard Shaw who yearned for a strong progressive autocracy under a Mussolini, a Hitler or a Stalin (he wasn't picky in this regard). This is the argument for an "economic dictatorship" pushed by Stuart Chase and the New Dealers. It's the dream of Herbert Croly and a great many of the Progressives."

PC Games (Games)

Journal: Hmmmm 2

Journal by MyLongNickName

Have you noticed that there is no user id 1,600,000 or 1,500,000 1,400,000 or 1,300,000 or 1,200,000 or 1,100,000?

There is a 1,100,001 and 1,200,001 and 1,300,001 and 1,400,001 and 1,500,001 and 1,600,001.

My best guess is that Slashdot has stopped giving out these number to avoid the kind of goofiness around the 1,000,000th user id. Folks were trying their darnedest to get the first seven digit number.

I wonder if Slashdot has taken away any other special uids?

User Journal

Journal: Is The New Republic infected with a Trojan?

Journal by DesScorp

I rarely go there, but on two occasions now, I've gone to TNR.com following a story link, and an attempted AntiVirus 2008 infection begins. Lucky me that I use a Mac this time of day.

National Review doesn't have this problem.

User Journal

Journal: I think they're trying to kill Slashdot. 12

Journal by Just Some Guy

I seriously believe that someone is trying to sabotage Slashdot by making it decreasingly pleasant.

Exhibit A: the new-and-busted discussion system. I actually like it more than the old way for reading comments, but for writing comments it's almost maliciously bad. The new system's preview button is much slower than the old way, and the mandatory waiting time between posting comments is a lot longer than it used to be. The net result is that whenever you're eventually allowed to click the "Submit" button, if your comment doesn't go through immediately, you're stuck staring at a pink error message until the countdown is finished. The only thing keeping this tolerable is that you can middle-click on "Reply to This" to open the old-style comment form in a new window, but I don't know if this workaround is going to be left in place long-term.

Exhibit B: Idle. This is truly the worst interface I've ever seen on Slashdot, from the painful color scheme to the tiny fonts to the difference between the markup used in comments between Idle and the rest of Slashdot. For example, the <quote> tags are treated like <p> in Idle, so there's no visible difference between text you're quoting and your own words. I don't even mind the content so much because it can be an amusing diversion, but wow, the implementation is just terrible.

No, I contend that the new changes are deliberately designed to drive away readership. I don't think that the Slashdot admins are incompetent, so I'm convinced that this is on purpose.

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