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Journal: On Spam, Faith, and Bullshit

Last Monday we had a front page article asking about the "effectiveness" of ISP-level spam filters. I eventually responded with a rehash of my central thesis on slashdot, pointing out that spam is an economic problem and filters will never resolve it.

My comment was generally well received (as seen by the moderations applied to it), though clearly some people were confused by it. Note for example two anonymous applications of the standard form, neither of which showed good comprehension of my comment. Overall my comment fielded 13 replies, many of which seemed to struggle with my statement in one way or another.

However the one who really failed most dramatically was this comment claiming - based on nothing at all - that everything I said was completely wrong. I eventually challenged his faith in spam filters, which apparently caused him to take off the gloves and make it personal.

In fact, so personal, that he kept bringing the conversation back to himself. Eventually I got tired of trying to bring the discussion back to being about spam, and he apparently got tired of talking about himself.

Even for this crowd, that was an odd discussion. Something like 18 comments from him in ~5 days and possibly not a single fact across the lot of them.
User Journal

Journal: Obviously, this validates the conspiracy 18 18

Islamic State operative suspected in 2012 Benghazi attack killed in US airstrike

Because certainly they must have known that he had all those deleted emails from Hillary Clinton's email server - particularly the ones where she asked him to initiate the strike - on his person when he was killed in Iraq this week. Hence this airstrike was done only to bring about the coronation of Mrs. Clinton.

Am I getting the conspiracy about right this time? I haven't heard anything from the usual gang here to tell me what to think about this yet.

User Journal

Journal: $freaks++ 11 11

Relationship Change
sent by Slashdot Message System on Tuesday June 02, 2015 @12:05AM

hitchhacker (122525) has made you their foe.

At first I figured it was likely that this person foe'd me after I called out (slashdot heroes) Ron and Rand Paul as fascists. However this user posts so little it is hard to tell if they read that or not. I notice they do have Barbara on their foes list as well, which may have been the reason instead.

User Journal

Journal: I take that back, I guess we did gain something from Occupy 2 2

Back in 2011, I asked How Long Until OWS Gives Up With Nothing?

I figured they would eventually get pushed aside and things would go back to business as usual. Indeed, that has mostly happened - wall street still runs the show and tells Washington what to do while the rest of us get screwed.

However, it appears that not only did something come from the Occupy movement, but it is a tangible product that you can buy.
User Journal

Journal: The Kevlar Kandidate Prepares to Surprise Nobody 10 10

If you can make it through his 45 seconds without falling asleep you might hear him say:

âoeI gotta tell you, ladies and gentlemen, part of the reason why Iâ(TM)m even thinking about what Iâ(TM)m thinking about â" we havenâ(TM)t announced anything yet, wonâ(TM)t until after the end of June when our state budget is done â" I have yet to see anyone in the field or in the emerging field whoâ(TM)s done both.â

I will say though, that if somehow the "democrats" manage to nominate Bernie Sanders, it would be fantastic to watch the two square off. Unfortunately Bernie can't raise enough money to be taken seriously by those who have the power to select a candidate - and will eventually be assassinated by the media (in the same was they offed Howard Dean) - which will result in a subpar nominee being on the ballot.

On the plus side, the Kevlar Kandidate keeps packing his offices with people who worked for the Teflon Candidate. This suggests he has a low probability of actual success. Unfortunately, Wisconsin will still be stuck with him after that failure occurs.

User Journal

Journal: Dice Holdings Inc is now "DHI" 11 11

I'm surprised this wasn't on the front page. I noticed today in the bottom right corner

Slashdot is a DHI service.

And was left to wonder if the Slashdot parent company was bought out. Apparently they just changed their name for better branding. I'm sure this can only lead to good things for this site, right?

User Journal

Journal: Can Republicans keep clowns off the debate stage? 13 13

Bloomberg View says it is unlikely.

Still traumatized by the 2012 "dog-and-pony show," which he called an "embarrassment and ridiculous," Priebus has decreed that this time the circus can have only nine rings, I mean debates, compared with about two dozen in the 2012 cycle. Only media outlets Priebus can stomach will get the chance to broadcast one of them. The left-leaning MSNBC will be excluded and its parent, NBC, will have to share its one debate with Telemundo. Fox and CNBC have been granted debates along with CNN after it dropped plans for a Hillary docudrama.

...

Limiting the number of debates may or may not help. What Priebus really needs to do is limit the number of debaters. He publicly atoned for not doing it last time but so far he hasn't come up with a way to prevent another melee. He'll have to act fast to find a formula before the first debate in August in Ohio, sponsored by Fox.

...

Priebus saw the damage last time as the eventual winner, Mitt Romney, repeatedly found himself on stage with people who weren't going to win anything but frequent flyer miles but could still goad him into musing about "self-deportation." If Priebus doesn't come up with something, the eventual winner this time will be sharing a stage with Carson comparing the U.S. under President Barack Obama to Nazi Germany or the Internal Revenue Service to the Gestapo. But Carson is the only black candidate, and that matters to a party that recognizes it has a likability deficit with minorities.

Similarly, eliminating Fiorina would reignite the War on Women meme. Fiorina isn't as out there as Carson, but she has no hope of making a dent, given her credentials as a losing Senate candidate, who had previously been ousted as chief executive of Hewlett-Packard for a questionable merger and huge layoffs, a record that is likely to come up a lot.

And how can he nudge evangelical favorite Huckabee to the side? He wasn't a clown in 2008 but he, his party and his Fox audience have moved to the right since then. In his campaign manifesto, "God, Guns, Grits and Gravy," and on the stump, the former governor dishes out opprobrium to a wasteland of miscreants. He assails the mainstream media, Jay-Z, the "ick factor" in gay relationships and gay adoption (because "children are not puppies"). And he has become a survivalist hawking quack medicine, even though, like the other former governor from Hope, he became rich after leaving office.

User Journal

Journal: Gun Fail of the week

Safe gun storage does not include leaving your loaded and unlocked weapon rolled up in the sheets of the bed where your two year old is playing .

The 2-year-old boy who used a family gun to accidentally shoot himself in the face on Thursday night was in stable but critical condition on Friday morning, according to Peoria police.

Detectives said the gun belongs to the boy's father, who was not home at the time. Preliminary investigation indicated that the gun was rolled up in sheets on the master bedroom bed.

And, as usual:

no criminal charges are pending at this time, police said.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal: Arm the teachers? 6 6

We recently had a school shooting in Washington state where the (student) shooter was stopped after firing but before hurting anyone. He was indeed stopped by a teacher from that school.

Did the teacher draw a weapon and send lead flying down the hallway? No. The teacher tackled the boy to disarm him. The school principal also helped to hold down the student until police arrived.
User Journal

Journal: Neglected Slashdot Feature: Message when friend posts JE 7 7

It seems that some people might not be familiar with this function, so I thought I'd mention it as I find it useful. Slashdot can send you a message when someone on your friends list posts a Journal Entry (JE). This feature is under "Message" in the "User Preferences" settings. If slashdot renders as oddly in your browser as it does in mine, you now get to User Preferences by clicking the icon that looks like a 6-toothed gear that should be near your name in a small panel on the front page. Then once that is open, find the "Messages" settings (in my case it is the last link on the right). Scroll about half-way down until you see Journal Entry by Friend. In there, you'll see several options
  • No Messages
  • E-Mail
  • Web
  • AIM
  • REST API

I find the Web option to be the most useful myself, by YMMV.

User Journal

Journal: Gun Fail of the week 9 9

A toddler was killed in Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday afternoon when a 3-year-old boy accidentally shot him with a gun that had been left unattended in a home

Seriously, doesn't anyone give a shit about irresponsible gun owners?

neighbor Larry Simpson said of the family. "It's a shame this had to happen."

Apparently not. If this "had to happen" then apparently we have to have irresponsible gun owners, whose irresponsibilities lead to the deaths of innocent people.

The Internet

Journal: ICANN confirms that ICANN sucks 2 2

ICANN unilaterally made the decision some time ago to start selling gTLDs; in spite of the volume of complaints they received before hand over the consequences of said awful idea. As much as they claimed that selling them would bring world peace and universal awesomeness to all, that did not transpire. In fact, they even sold ".sucks" TLD to someone who took their game to the next level:

.Sucks Seller Accused Of Ripping Off Poor Helpless Celebrities

Now, I don't have a whole ton of sympathy for some of the victims, but this could have been prevented. If ICANN was actually concerned about the coherence of the internet - rather than just the depth of their own bank accounts - they would have realized that selling gTLDs is a terrible idea.
Republicans

Journal: A Teflon Endorsement 9 9

Pawlenty talks up Wisconsin's Walker for president, demurs on own political future

He forgot to talk up another similarity between them - they both spent years running for president only to crash and burn. I'll predict now that the Kevlar Kandidate will be the first to bow out after the Iowa caucuses. It will be fun to watch, though.

Unfortunately Wisconsin will still be stuck with him for a while after, as he will still be "governor" after losing the GOP nomination.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't.

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