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Comment Re:Dubious assumptions are dubious (Score 1) 294 294

Turning off lights in cities isn't going to help astronomers much.

Actually, no. City glow is a huge impediment to astronomy for an area hundreds of times the size of the city.

There's a middle ground here. Lighting can be designed so it primarily lights the ground, instead of going every which way. Goes a long way towards reducing problems optical telescope use faces.

Comment Software Priesthood (Score 1) 352 352

The whole thrust of ESR's Cathedral and the Bazaar essay...

You're about 30 years late WRT your reference. When I said "back in the day"...

I first saw the term "software priesthood" in print in Byte magazine -- it was 1976, I think. It was already in play among those of us who had already been programming for a while, and even more so among certain sectors of management.

Comment Re:use this one neat trick (Score 4, Insightful) 352 352

Back in the day, we called this concept the "Software Preisthood"

It wasn't complementary.

1) I am not threatened by "everyone" learning to program

2) don't buy a bunch of stupid apps, and,

3) Apparently, you're a programmer, so write your own apps. :)

Comment Re:Yay no more stupid videos! (Score 1) 550 550

Videos are 5x slower than reading

Yep. And they're extremely difficult to deal with contextually, unless you take the time to generate a full transcript - ugh. So (a) waste your time watching, (b) waste your time writing up a transcript, (c) take the time to post... and (d) everyone has already moved on.

Most video "stories" are for droolers. If you can't write it up, it often isn't worth saying. Exceptions being movies of Pluto, that sort of science-y goodness. I don't think I've ever seen *anything* on the idiot box that was worth a full page of actual cogent explanation. And "interviews".... ffs, just write it down.

Comment Our value is community. Not the broken site. (Score 0, Offtopic) 550 550

Perhaps the new owners will finally fix the massively broken and stupid moderation system that the previous and current owners have left bereft of badly needed attention:

o Moderators can't post with ID. Stupid. Utterly, completely, stupid. Pointless. Ridiculous.
o Moderators have zero accountability for what they've done -- only for what they might do later
o Absolutely no effective mechanism to remove bad moderation (and that really screws up threads here)
o AC's unjustly penalized, many of the site's best posts never rise above the noise level
o Trolls go un-handled -- the AC low-runging is a punt at not having to work at moderation. But it doesn't work.
o Perversely limited set of mod types leaves moderators unable to moderate reasonably
o Limits on mod ranges penalize the very best posts (and don't adequately address the trolls, either, because...
o On slashdot, troll is effectively equal to AC with one person disagreeing, and...
o Because we can't attribute the "disagree" to the mod, it can't be remediated except by the...
o Random and future-behavior-only-focused meta moderation system.

And then we have:

o Ridiculous delays between posts for ACs AND for logged-in users. Big convo? Too bad for you.
o Inability STILL to handle many character entities after all these years. Not to mention UTF-*8, omg.
o Retarded signature limits. C'mon. Bad sigs should be moderated. It takes a lot of chars to use HTML.

And of course there are the short-bus elephants in the room:

o "Editors" that know nothing about editing. Or writing. Or what constitutes a "story"
o The "firehose", a way to vote up stuff that won't get posted -- can be a total waste of time
o And the continuous mucking about with the parts that worked, making them NOT work,
      while all of the above, which ACTUALLY needs fixing, goes unfixed.

I'd fire the bloody lot of them, frankly.

Comment Re:Even better news for China (Score 3, Insightful) 97 97

It doesnt matter if those countries get 100 bucks if 99 of them end up going back to cost of manufacturing.

Part of "cost of manufacturing" is paying workers. There and here. So it does matter. When my $100 goes there instead of here, our economy takes a hit. Tiny, sure, but when it's thousands or tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of "whatever", then it's no longer a tiny hit.

Comment Re:Misleading and Hyperbolic Title/Comparison (Score 1) 129 129

How do you get shell access on your average Mac without physical access? SSH isn't enabled by default as has been pointed out. In fact, it's been a real PITA to get the versions of OS X I've configured to play nice on the network for the command line. I doubt one user in a thousand has done it -- slashdot mac users not being significantly representative of the average mac users, of course. My macs have SSH available, but the port isn't open to the Intertubes outside of my LAN, so it doesn't concern me very much.

So this essentially resolves to a "you have to be there" exploit.

How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb? One to hold the giraffe and one to fill the bathtub with brightly colored power tools.

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