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User Journal

Journal: I'm back. 1

Journal by BarbaraHudson

I can see well enough to use a computer again, which came as a welcome surprise. Huge thanks to the retinal surgeons who patched my left eye back into some semblance of working order, and to the work over the last several years by the team of ophthalmologists and tech assistants who helped preserve much of the sight in my right eye.

It's been an interesting experience so far, and one that I have learned a lot from. I've been told that the betting money would be on my retinas being relatively stable for the next two-three years, though the vitrectomy was such an insult to the lens that I can expect to need it to be replaced in the next year or so.

The more things change, the more they stay the same ... especially here on /., where APK wasted no time claiming that various anonymous posters were me. Comments like this one must be driving him even nuttier - will he be accusing that poster of being me?

Only on slashdot :-)

Unfortunately, I never expected to use a computer again, so I don't have the passwords to my old accounts (neither my original one, nor the one I created with a gender-appropriate nic after I was outed as a transsexual). I'm sorry for the inconvenience. Just like I'm sorry that I wasn't able to keep people up to date before falling off the face of the net.

There are still plenty of challenges ahead, both near-term and long-term. And plenty of unanswered questions that I will do my best to clear up. I was going to do it elsewhere and just post links, but really, this is home (despite the beta crap).

User Journal

Journal: I'm shocked, SHOCKED! to hear they sifted the docs 3

Journal by smitty_one_each

As the House Select Committee on Benghazi prepares for its first hearing this week, a former State Department diplomat is coming forward with a startling allegation: Hillary Clinton confidants were part of an operation to "separate" damaging documents before they were turned over to the Accountability Review Board investigating security lapses surrounding the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya.

I sure am glad that both Harry "the Cadaver" Reid, plus Pravda on the Hudson (NYT) did such a stellar job on the case. They, and the sad little sycophant throne sniffers one encounters on this site, are encouraged to locate a large supply of shame and prepare to feel it in a big way.
On the other hand, the investigation could exonerate the whole sorry lying lot of them.
I may be wrong in my assessment, and will be happy to eat crow.
Also, the sun may rise in the West.

User Journal

Journal: More unsurprisingly conservative ads on slashdot 15

Journal by damn_registrars
I had a little bit of downtime yesterday afternoon with my phone in my hand and decided to see how awful slashdot is with the default browser on Android. It is - as one might expect - rather bad. More so, the front page actually had conservative advertisements on the page (beyond the usual collection of conservative stories). The first ad was touting Paul Ryan being scheduled to appear at a conference about medicare and medicaid. Being as I was not logged in to slashdot through my phone at all, this appears to be part of the new default set of ads served up to newbies.

Well done, slashdot. Might as well cater to your own base. You wouldn't want people to think that other opinions are welcomed here or anything.

PS - I liked it better when we had ads for mail-order-brides on the front page. At least that was something that performs a useful service. The GOP can't claim that.
The Military

Journal: James Foley Is Not a War Ad 9

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

by David Swanson / September 13th, 2014

                               

To the extent that the U.S. public is newly, and probably momentarily, accepting of war -- an extent that is wildly exaggerated, but still real -- it is because of videos of beheadings of James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

When 9-11 victims were used as a justification to kill hundreds of times the number of people killed on 9-11, some of the victims' relatives pushed back.

Now James Foley is pushing back from the grave.

Here is video of Foley talking about the lies that are needed to launch wars, including the manipulation of people into thinking of foreigners as less than human. Foley's killers may have thought of him as less than human. He may not have viewed them the same way.

The video shows Foley in Chicago helping Haskell Wexler with his film Four Days in Chicago -- a film about the last NATO protest before the recent one in Wales. I was there in Chicago for the march and rally against NATO and war. And I've met Wexler who has tried unsuccessfully to find funding for a film version of my book War Is A Lie .

Watch Foley in the video discussing the limitations of embedded reporting, the power of veteran resistance, veterans he met at Occupy, the absence of a good justification for the wars, the dehumanization needed before people can be killed, the shallowness of media coverage -- watch all of that and then try to imagine James Foley cheering like a weapons-maker or a Congress member for President Obama's announcement of more war. Try to imagine Foley accepting the use of his killing as propaganda for more fighting.

You can't do it. He's not an ad for war any more than the WMDs were a justification for war. His absence as a war justification has been exposed even faster than the absence of the WMDs was.

While ISIS may have purchased Sotloff, if not Foley, from another group, when Foley's mother sought to ransom him, the U.S. government repeatedly threatened her with prosecution. So, instead of Foley's mother paying a relatively small amount and possibly saving her son, ISIS goes on getting its funding from oil sales and supporters in the Gulf and free weapons from, among elsewhere, the United States and its allies. And we're going to collectively spend millions, probably billions, and likely trillions of dollars furthering the cycle of violence that Foley risked his life to expose.

The Coalition of the Willing is already crumbling. What if people in the United States were to watch the video of Foley when he was alive and speaking and laughing, not the one when he was a prop in a piece of propaganda almost certainly aimed at provoking the violence that Obama has just obligingly announced?

Foley said he believed his responsibility was to the truth. It didn't set him free. Is it perhaps not too late for the rest of us?

User Journal

Journal: Conservative mindfuck 2

Journal by damn_registrars
The situation in Ukraine should be causing conservatives to collectively blow their gaskets, except that most of them discarded logic long ago. Let's examine their beliefs on the matter. Many conservatives believe:
  • That Obama is a communist (which is obviously wrong)
  • That Marxist communism was the dominant philosophy for most of the existence of the USSR (also obviously wrong)
  • That communism and fascism are in any meaningful way similar philosophically (also obviously wrong)
  • That Vladimir Putin is attempting to reinstate communism in Russia (also completely and utterly wrong)

If we were to suspend reality long enough to pretend that those statement are not all pure crap, we then have a bigger situation in current events to address - Obama vs. Putin over Ukraine. If the two were philosophically aligned, why would they be so doggedly opposed to letting the other get an upper hand in the situation? Surely, two communists should be able to agree on how to take over a third country for Marxist happiness, should they not?

... and of course, President Lawnchair is building (another!) "coalition of the willing".

User Journal

Journal: Android International 5

Journal by stoolpigeon

Google struggles dealing with people who are in one place but want to use a language from another place.

It's gotten better in chrome on a computer. I can pretty much search in chrome and get my results in English. But on android it's a mess.

When I search in Android Chrome - I get google.hu and I haven't found a way to get it to use google.com

Today I decided to start using 2 factor authentication with gmail. Seems like a good idea and it's free so why not? Once I turned it on and set it up on my computer then I went to my phone. On my Android phone it said, "Now you need to go to the web." and took me to a form in Hungarian. There was no option to switch it to English.

Everything in my phone is set to use English but this is all completely ignored in favor of where the browser has decided that I am physically located. Does that make sense to you? It does not make sense to me. I want it in US English - no matter where I am in the world.

It's a weird thing. On the one hand I love that they are willing to sms the codes to any number world wide (though I switched to the app). So in some ways they are way ahead of others. But then you run into something that is just so backwards. And finding a way to send feedback to Google? Not so easy.

User Journal

Journal: More Than Enough - Comcast declares war on Tor 25

Journal by PopeRatzo

If you haven't dumped Comcast yet, you better hurry:

http://www.deepdotweb.com/2014/09/13/comcast-declares-war-tor/

Reports have surfaced (Via /r/darknetmarkets and another one submitted to us) that Comcast agents have contacted customers using Tor and instructed them to stop using the browser or risk termination of service. A Comcast agent named Jeremy allegedly called Tor an âoeillegal service.â The Comcast agent told its customer that such activity is against usage policies.
The Comcast agent then repeatedly asked the customer to tell him what sites he was accessing on the Tor browser. The customer refused to answer.
The next day the customer called Comcast and spoke to another agent named Kelly who reiterated that Comcast does not want its customers using Tor. The Comcast agent then allegedly told the customer:

"Users who try to use anonymity, or cover themselves up on the internet, are usually doing things that arenâ(TM)t so-to-speak legal. We have the right to terminate, fine, or suspend your account at anytime due to you violating the rules. Do you have any other questions? Thank you for contacting Comcast, have a great day."

User Journal

Journal: Subscriptions Are Over ~ Busy Penguin 2

Journal by stoolpigeon

I enquired about when subscription renewal would be available again and the reply I got was that the subscription process will not be coming back. Must not make enough income to make it worthwhile. I liked seeing stories a little early and would try to quickly email and warn of dupes when I could. But it is a business. So it goes.

A long, long time ago I registered a domain that I thought would be awesome to use for a number of purposes. SleepingArmadillo.com Actually I thought the best use of this would be as a name for a craft beer. But I thought it would be good for almost anything but I never actually did anything with it. I just had a static html page with a photo of a 'sleeping' armadillo taken on a road near my home when I was living in Florida.

I ended up selling it to a band. The page they have now has a cool little cover image - I like it. I didn't make any profit on the deal but I enjoyed doing it.

It made me want to register something else that may be useful someday. It's not easy to do. I ended up with busypenguin.com I have no idea what I'll do with it. Right now I think it could be a clever Linux site but I don't have the time or desire to do it. I don't think it would be a good beer name. Sleeping Armadillo was genius. Busy Penguin was just the best I could get that day. I like it, don't get me wrong, just not sure at all what I'll do with it.

User Journal

Journal: Give me Catholic Heaven, Islamic Paradise is too hard 9

Journal by Marxist Hacker 42

this guy is clearly NOT a mathematician, but if he was:
 
You have 4 wives on earth. Each one of those wives has 70 black eyed virgins for you in paradise. Each one of those black eyed virgins has 70 servant girls. That is 19,884 women for you to have sex with in paradise.
 
But it gets worse. Each one of those women has been given YOU by Allah for a term of 70 years. That means you will be having sex, nonstop, from the time you die for the first 1,391,880 years you are in paradise. You're going to need eternity from then on just to rest up from that.

User Journal

Journal: Mars, Ho! Chapter Fifty

Journal by mcgrew

Mars!
        John and Destiny left the houseboat parked on a space port pad they had rented at the spaceport at the Meridian Bay dome and got in a cab. Destiny said "I don't want to shop on an empty stomach. Taxi, take us to a restaurant that serves eggs and pork sausage this time of day."
        "Wow," John said. "That's going to be an expensive place."
        "Well, I'm buying. You said you never tried pork sausage, now's your chance, it's my treat. Besides, I've been thinking about pork sausage for half the trip and I don't want to wait any longer!"
        Dewey was on his way to Mars when he finished reading Knolls' report. He sipped on the coffee the captain had brought and switched on the news. They were digging the deep hole in Mars again.
        Plans were being made to tow the tragic Venus station to drop into the sun. It had been argued that if they dropped it on Venus it would incinerate from the friction with Venus' thick carbon dioxide atmosphere, but some lesser educated people were afraid that the disease might somehow survive Venus' hellish surface.
        Charles was back on TV talking about pirates. He was glad it was Charles and not him, Dewey hated TV cameras.
        He emailed Kowalski, telling him that when Kelly got back to Earth to have a couple of his best electrical engineers, one who was good with batteries and one that was good with engines, to talk to him and find out how he got a third gravity out of batteries. Nobody else had managed to do that before, and some engineers claimed it was physically impossible.
        John and Destiny were really busy on Mars the next few days, mostly shopping. First shopping for a wedding ring, then for real estate; they would buy a house and a bar. The houseboat was big as houseboats go, but was a bit small for someone as wealthy as Destiny who had lived all her life in very large homes, especially since the houseboat was half full of beer. After signing papers for the house they went for breakfast at a nice restaurant, where Destiny bought John another omelette and pork sausage. John wasn't any more impressed with this sausage than at the other restaurant.
        Then they visited Tammy in her hotel room. Her face was still a little bruised but she wasn't wearing the sling.
        "Hi, come on in, guys. Want some coffee?"
        "Sure," Destiny said. "So how are you coming with your research?"
        "Well, we haven't had time to do much except move them into the facility and acquaint them with it, but Rilla had really come a long way and Lek was almost cured already, at least from the physical withdrawal symptoms, by the time we got to Mars. She's to the point that withdrawal is still torture to her, but no longer deadly. She's still in mental and physical pain but she's not dropping any more. The physical pain should be gone in a few weeks. Of course, full therapy will probably take years."
        John said "Yes, Lek sure did change during the trip. This is great coffee, Tammy!"
        She laughed. "It's robot coffee!"
        "No way," John said.
        "Yep, and it's one of your company's robots that made it, too!"
        "No way in hell!" John exclaimed.
        "It's true," she said. "Your company updated all their coffeebots' operating systems and other programs. And it perks a whole pot of coffee in five minutes, and a cup in less than a minute. You have one of their robots, now it can make good coffee. I only found out because they're advertising it all over everywhere. I'm surprised you didn't notice."
        John said "I saw the ads, I just didn't believe them."
        Destiny laughed. "Dad must have tried a cup of his own robots' nasty coffee, I think he fired his head engineer. He should get here in another week."
        John said "Bill lands in two days. I'm still reeling from the trip here. God, but that was a damned nightmare!"
        They continued chatting a while before going home. They would be moving into their new home about the time Bill showed up two days later and would have more shopping to do; they would need furniture and appliances.
        John and Destiny met him at the spaceport, and they stopped at a bar for the beer he'd promised John. He bought John and Destiny several, in fact. John tried to buy a round and Bill wouldn't let him.
        "Excuse me, Bartender, but I want to buy a round," he said. The bartender told John what they cost.
        "Wow," he said. "That's pretty high! Is it like that everywhere here?"
        The bartender told him the reason was the cost of shipping it to Mars from Earth. He was going to clean up in the tavern business, it seemed, since Destiny would get a huge discount on shipping. He decided that while he was learning business he'd learn how to make beer and open a microbrewery in his tavern, too. He'd have really cheap beer, at least compared to other taverns, that he could sell for a huge profit and still be way cheaper than anyone else's if he could learn to make good beer.
        Bill said "Bartender, don't take his money, this is all on me. I have to write a damned report tomorrow, I don't know why" he said, turning to John.
        "I had to write one and they really wanted detail," John said. "Maybe they changed policies and everybody has to write reports now."
        A few days after that they met Dewey at the spaceport. After Dewey and his daughter hugged she said "Where's Mom?"
        Dewey said "Come on, Destiny, you know how your mom is. She's scared to death to even get on an airplane, let alone a space ship. I'm going to wear a camera at the wedding, though, so she'll be there in a way."
        He stuck out his hand. "Good seeing you again, John. That was some great work you did on that trip. We're going to be rewriting the book. I wish I could talk you out of retiring."
        "Well, thank you, Mister Green..."
        "Call me Dewey, John. You're family now."

Republicans

Journal: 9/11 versus Benghazi 1

Journal by damn_registrars
On "Patriot Day" this year it occurred to me that 9/11 and Benghazi have some interesting parallels. Indeed these parallels, when considered in the context of how completely different the conservative responses to them are, are indicative of how much the conservative right has changed in the past decade-plus.

The fact that the latter event occurred on the anniversary of the former is not lost, although there is no evidence to support that being more than a coincidence.

One of the biggest parallels of the two events is that both were followed by large government investigations. The publication of the findings of one became an instant best seller at bookstores around the country and beyond. The release of the other was preceded by partisan rhetoric from people who were convinced it was a cover-up.

Both events were tried as calls for action by conservative presidents. 9/11 was used as justification for the invasion of two countries - one that was a likely hiding place for the person pegged as the "mastermind" of the attack, and one that had nothing to do with it whatsoever. Quickly as the war drum beat deafeningly loud anyone who dared to question those attacks was labeled as "Un-American" and prepared for tarring and feathering. When the conservative president at 1600 Pennsylvania during the Benghazi attack suggested we change something, he was met with a deafening chorus of "not so fast, we have to try to impeach you first!".

The success of the 9/11 attacks were blamed on "uh, ummm, whatever - we couldn't have possibly known this was going to happen". The success of the Benghazi attacks were blamed squarely on the POTUS and his cabinet.

The 9/11 attacks lead to massive changes - including mandatory anal probes - at airport security for all passengers. The Benghazi attacks lead to more partisan attacks aimed at the White House.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. -- D.E. Knuth

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