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Comment: Yes, or adjust your monitor (Score 2) 195

by dereference (#42619035) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Tools For Dealing With Glare Sensitivity?

Try installing some LEDs on the back of your monitor to illuminate the wall behind the screen.

Or, if you prefer more moderate or darker ambient lighting, you can simply turn down the brightness of your monitor. I normally keep mine between 10% and 25% of full brightness, and usually adjust the contrast a bit as well.

For what it's worth, I found this solution by mistake many years ago. I had set my laptop to always use its dimmest setting. It was a power saving feature, meant for use when powered by battery only. Having the screen always dim, I got very used to it that way. I wondered why other laptops started giving me headaches, until I eventually placed mine next to another, and realized it was the intensity of the default (full brightness) settings that was the problem.

Comment: Not to him (Score 1) 176

by dereference (#41398359) Attached to: Man Pays For Cross-Country Trip Using Bacon As Currency

I hope he keeps good records. The services he trades for bacon are considered "barter income," and are taxable at fair market rates.

You've got it the wrong way around. There are no tax implications to him. He just paid a fair price for goods and service. The providers of the goods and services, however, do need to keep track of the bacon received and report it (right along side all the traditional income) as barter income.

Comment: Not a wrong number (Score 1) 466

by dereference (#41375931) Attached to: Dice Buys Geeknet's Media Business, Including Slashdot, In $20M Deal

Something sounds very wrong with those numbers. The ratio I usually hear of company sale price to earnings is on the order of 5 or 6 to 1. If said properties had $20m in revenue, the sale price for them should be over $100m

Earnings and Revenue are not the same. Revenue is basically just the gross income (with some adjustments). Earnings are net, meaning revenue minus expenses. In services (rather than products) industries, a sales price equal to the annual revenue is quite typical.

Comment: Maybe not so many (Score 1) 116

by dereference (#39833227) Attached to: VeriSign Could Add 220 New Top Level Domains

You have to put a dot at the end of a domain name for a rooted search, or it's looked up locally first. If you're on a stanford.edu machine, and look up "music" or "art", you'll get the site for that department. If you want the "music" TLD (I wonder who gets that. The RIAA? iTunes? Myspace?), you have to type "music.". Unless you're really into DNS semantics, you probably don't know that.

That's an interesting point, but according to the man page for resolv.conf, the default for the ndots option is 1, meaning "if there are any dots in a name, the name will be tried first as an absolute name before any search list elements are appended to it." While you're correct that "music" won't work properly without the trailing dot, my guess is that most actual sites would be something like "www.music" (or something a bit more whimsical, such as "my.music"). In these cases, the name contains the requisite minimum one dot, thus hinting to the resolver that this is indeed an absolute name (specifically "www.music." or "my.music.").

Comment: Try ten years ago (and 6 weeks ago) (Score 1) 204

by dereference (#39304071) Attached to: Classic Nintendo Games Are NP-Hard

I'm sure I've seen this before. Ahh, yes here it is almost two years ago.

Tetris is Hard: NP-Hard from 2002!

Or, more recently, Pac-Man Is NP-Hard from January of this year.

It's still not a dupe, but really all of these should have been referenced and linked from the submission as relevant.

Comment: Re:Assault (Score 1) 395

by dereference (#36878220) Attached to: Online Call To Shoot President Ruled Free Speech

Can you explain the difference between someone stating publicly that they are going to kill the president, and a bully at school stating he is going to beat the crap out of another kid, or kill the school principal or blow up the school?

Yes. Do you honestly perceive these as entirely equivalent? Let's start with the fact that the secret service does not descend upon every kid talking trash and arrest them. So, clearly, there is a difference, whether you perceive it or not, whether you agree or not.

Did you maybe forget that not all of the possible "things one can say" qualify for protection as free speech? Threatening to blow up the school is along the same lines as yelling "fire" in a crowded theater (as the oft-cited example goes) or making a presumably false bomb threat. (I mention "presumably false" because in a real bomb threat, the actual crime has already taken place by planting a bomb.) These aren't examples of protected speech. These are criminal acts. And they should be punished accordingly.

These are the same thing - threatening the safety of another and should all be taken seriously.

Surely they need not be taken equally seriously. Otherwise we might employ your tactic of extrapolation. In such, one might argue that you're basically suggesting that all kids taunting "I'm going to kick your butt" while playing sports, or even "I'm going to get you" while playing tag, should be summarily arrested and charged as a threat to society. Can you not see that, at the very least, there is a spectrum of reasonable responses, and that contextual circumstances may play a role in deciding the appropriate action (if any) to take?

A kid threatening another in public may be considered bullying, but I hardly think we should arrest the bully. As I've already said, I think a more appropriate response would be to take steps to ensure the other kid is protected and safe (and has assurances of this) with no punishment for crimes that haven't yet been committed. And yes, if the bully should actually cause harm to the other kid (or anyone else) or starts using unprotected speech (e.g. a bomb threat) that's when the bully should start losing some rights immediately. I'd say the same principle applies to the ex-spouse example you gave above.

Comment: Assault (Score 1) 395

by dereference (#36870880) Attached to: Online Call To Shoot President Ruled Free Speech

Wow. Thankfully you have no say in anti-bullying laws.

My statements do not at all imply that anti-bullying laws should be weakened. Bullying is libel/slander or assault, and should be treated as such by punishing the offender accordingly. That's not at all what happened in TFA, nor is it implied in my posting above. Indeed, I explicitly mentioned the case of assault as a vastly different situation. You seem to have extrapolated a bit too far again; you may be experiencing knee-jerk reactions before achieving full comprehension of these replies that apparently offend you.

Comment: Pre-emptive arrests (Score 1) 395

by dereference (#36865298) Attached to: Online Call To Shoot President Ruled Free Speech

So basically what you are saying is if someone utters a death threat to someone else, like a guy to his ex-wife, then it's ok if the police don't do anything since they can arrest him AFTER she gets killed. Yes, that seems like the way it should work.

With one important alteration to your statement, to make is consistent with the GP you're mocking, the answer to this in the US should be a resounding yes, yes, and yes again! You extrapolated that the police should do nothing. I'd assert that the police should not be allowed to do anything to limit the rights of the person exercising free speech, let alone arresting that person. That doesn't imply the police cannot do whatever is reasonable to help protect the threatened party. If further hostile speech is done in proximity to the victim, that might be assault, in which case by all means arrest the person.

In fact, popular crime dramas for decades used this as a recurring plot point, that the police were unable to be proactive in their response. Detectives solved crimes. Crimes that already happened. They might then prevent further future crimes, but there was always an extant crime. What you may notice is that's no longer the case; art has caught up to the reality of life. Now many stories/shows/movies revolve around attempting to prevent a crime in the first place.

At the risk of reducing this to politics, I see the US "pre-emptive" invasion of Iraq as a turning point.

Comment: Post Anonymously (Score 2) 390

by dereference (#35381346) Attached to: Posting AC - a Thing of the Past?
If you're logged in, but check the "post anonymously" setting, slashdot apparently retains your association as the author of that comment. You cannot mod your own comment in such a case, even if you logout and login again. I don't know about actual AC postings, although I suspect at the very least the source IP address is retained.

Comment: Employer taxes (Score 1) 349

by dereference (#35044280) Attached to: Golden Gate Bridge To Eliminate Tollbooths

Interesting. Honestly curious Brit here - I know that US employees suffer lower levels of personal income tax than in the UK (or Europe) but I'm wondering if your employers pay more?

Probably not.

US employers don't contribute anything toward the personal income tax of the employees. This is obfuscated by the fact that employers in most cases are required to withhold from payroll several taxes that are obligations of the employee. These include estimated* personal income tax (federal, plus state and local as applicable) plus the actual Medicare tax and actual employee's share of the Social Security tax. Instead of being paid directly to the employee, all such taxes are withheld from gross pay, and paid directly by the employer to the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of each employee.

The employer's only payroll tax liability is its share of the Social Security tax for each employee. For decades this has been split 50-50 between employer and employee, although just this year the employee's portion was reduced. Employers must also pay for several statutory insurance policies, including federal and state unemployment programs, plus in most cases a workers' compensation plan, but none of these is strictly a tax.

(*The fact that it's an estimate greatly confuses people on a mass scale, as they've been conditioned to believe that the interest-free return of any overages withheld is a gift from the government, and thus some even attempt to deliberately increase withholdings to achieve a bigger return, but that's another story entirely.)

Comment: So much vitriol; so few answers (Score 1) 103

by dereference (#34900376) Attached to: Tomcat 7 Finalized

Basically how can execution of a thread be stopped [...]?

The short answer is that a thread can never be both arbitrarily and safely stopped. That's why Thread.stop() has been deprecated since nearly its introduction in Java. There's an official summary of the reasons, linked from the API. Essentially any forcible stoppage of a thread could silently compromise the thread-safety of the entire application.

How do you even time out Executor threads after a fixed amount of time?

If your worker threads happen to by blocked on IO or something similar, or they are waiting for a synchronization monitor, then you can indeed interrupt them. However, that doesn't seem to be the case in your situation; you seem to be saying that these threads aren't waiting, they're just merrily running along, doing productive work. You want them to be arbitrarily halted after some time or some event, but that's just not possible.

In those cases, your threads are supposed to police themselves, usually by polling some external signal (set by another thread) indicating that they should give up. Since threads can't kill other threads safely, the very mechanism has been deprecated. By the way, this has nothing to do with the (relatively new) Executor threads, nor with any particular version of Tomcat.

Comment: Mozilla Suite (Score 1) 234

by dereference (#33153566) Attached to: A Pointed Critique of Thunderbird 3's Performance Compared to v.2
Long ago, in the days of Netscape 6/7/8, the mail client of what was later Mozilla Suite (now SeaMonkey) was absolutely fantastic in terms of performance. The "new" standalone Thunderbird as introduced was horribly slow by comparison, and has only gotten substantially slower over time, even on the same hardware with roughly the same level and rate of messages. I haven't tried SeaMonkey recently, but several years ago it seemed an order of magnitude faster than Thunderbird. Does anybody know how Mozilla managed to make the standalone product so slow?

Torque is cheap.

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