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Journal: Example of a legitimate use for Tor 1

Journal by BarbaraHudson
Found this in the Firehose. Hope it makes it to the front page, because in some jobs, and some parts of the world, being "stealth" when you're trans is the only safe option How Tor protects and serves transgender service members.

Last year, for example, a Navy cryptologist named Landon Wilson was put up for promotion while serving in Afghanistan. The recognition of ultimately backfired: As the paperwork was prepared, colleagues found out that Landon was born a girl and was thus was a transgender man. He was fired despite his prowess and the resources the military had poured into training him.


Other soldiers claimed they were forced to bury dead bodies and take on other punitive duties after their gender identity had been outed.

Multiple women [serving in Afghanistan] have told me that they were suddenly put at the head of their supply convoys every week until the end of their tour, with the idea that if there were an [explosive device], theyâ(TM)d be in the position that would be struck by it,â

Pretty good argument that not all users of Tor are doing it to hide acts of wrongdoing.

The Matrix

Journal: The Matrix is Mimetic 9

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

As Yuval Harari points out, "What is so special about us that allows for such cooperation? Unflatteringly, it is our talent for deluding ourselves. If you examine any large-scale human cooperation (or co-option), you will always find some imaginary story at its base. As long as many people believe in the same stories about gods, nations, money or human rights (memes and antitropes) - they follow the same laws and rules (of conduct)."

User Journal

Journal: For Democracy, as every schoolboy knows, was born in an English cradle: 2

Journal by fustakrakich

individual liberty, parliamentary institutions, the sovereign rights of the people, are ideas of British origin, and have been propagated from this island over the whole of Europe.

But as the prophet and his words are very often not honoured in his own country, those ideas have been embraced with much more fervour by other nations than by that in which they originated.

The Continent of Europe has taken the desire for liberty and equality much more seriously than their levelling but also level-headed inventors, and the fervent imagination of France has tried to put into practice all that was quite hidden to the more sober English eye. Every one nowadays knows the good and the evil consequences of the French Revolution, which swept over the whole of Europe, throwing it into a state of unrest, shattering thrones and empires, and everywhere undermining authority and traditional institutions.

While this was going on in Europe, the originator of the merry game was quietly sitting upon his island smiling broadly at the excitable foreigners across the Channel, fishing as much as he could out of the water he himself had so cleverly disturbed, and thus in every way reaping the benefit from the mighty fight for the apple of Eros which he himself had thrown amongst them.

- just a little copy 'n paste that seems to fit the moment...

User Journal

Journal: Yes, SimCity 2k is beatable. 5

Journal by BarbaraHudson

While looking around for a minecraft clone so I could see what the hype was about, I came across something called Dwarf Fortress. The New Yorker describes it as SimCity's evil twin.

And some games werenâ(TM)t allowed in at all. These gamesâ"most notably the immensely popular SimCity, as well as its lunatic homemade successor Dwarf Fortressâ"were deemed âoetoo complex or too time consuming,â and are represented only by noninteractive video displays. This is about as satisfying as looking at pictures of food, but it is also in a perverse sort of way a real tribute: these games are still too big, too stubbornly new and strange and mysterious, to fit into a museum just yet. They canâ(TM)t be sampled; you must surrender to them.

Designed by Will Wright, who had made only a single previous game, and first released in 1989, SimCity casts the player as a slightly supernatural city planner, laying out roads and power plants and building zones in a simple, brightly colored interface with a distinct resemblance to MS Paint. You choose tax rates and ordinances from a series of menus, and try to balance traffic and property values and pollution and dozens of other factors on the way to creating a successful cityâ"with the definition of âoesuccessfulâ rather up in the air. It has no âoeend,â no plot, no set goal: you play until you are bored, or until your city seems to you to be perfect or maimed beyond repair. Along with its increasingly pretty and complex sequels (the 1994 SimCity 2000 is the one chosen for âoeApplied Design,â

This canard still persists today. I know it can be beaten - I did it, and it's simpler than I thought.

First - the background. Back when my retinas were getting lasered on a regular basis, I would fire up SK2k in an emulator under KNOPPIX. This gave me a chance to focus on large graphics on a large screen, instead of stuff like fonts. It worked too - my eyes would recover after a few days of intermittent gameplay.

So, since SC2K had always held a certain fascination for me, I determined to beat it. Without bothering with complications like variable tax rates for different industries, etc.

It turns out that the real limiting factor is good old H20. Starting with a flat world and enough water available in rows in the center, you never have to add any more water. Why in rows? Because your pumps benefit from having water on 6 of the 8 adjacent tiles, giving them the best space/capacity trade-off. Why in the center? Because you'll put your industries along the edge, so half (or more near a corner) of your pollution goes to your neighbors, instead of spoiling your water supply.

You do NOT need a seaport. Ever. Or a marina. And you can ignore most of those "Commerce needs new connections" messages.

The optimal grid is 9x9, surrounded by roads on all sides. Continue this pattern, even through the water area (a grid of 9x9 blocks of 9x9), surrounded by a ring of 9x9 blocks for commercial / sports development later in the game. Leave enough of a gap for a set of highways to go from one edge of the screen to the other (forming a huge # sign), by working from the edge to create more 9x9 blocks.

DON'T draw all the roads right away - just lay them out as you need them, otherwise you'll go broke.

If you build police departments, fire departments, schools, etc. as required, you will eventually "break the simulator" Turns out (it's in the docs) that there are only 150 "mini simulators" in the game. You'll know when you're broken this because the next launch arcology will fill up immediately. Do this a few times, and you can start eliminating public utitilies, schools, etc., to increase revenue even more.

Once you have built and populated enough launch arcologies, you'll get the "The exodus has begun" dialog. Game over.

It took me 24 hours, going from 1900 to 26-something. I took a load of screen-shots, to document progress, and saved the game almost every "year", just in case that last run hadn't worked, but it DID!


Journal: Eric Holder to Resign as Attorney General 31

Journal by damn_registrars
However, before the conservatives start celebrating, pay attention to this

he will resign the post heâ(TM)s held for nearly six years as soon as a successor can be confirmed.

In other words, you're stuck with him until you confirm someone to take his place. So if you hate him, the best thing you can do to get rid of him is to encourage the senate to actually hold a vote on his replacement. Even if the senate flips in November, they won't be able to push him out until they vote to approve someone else.

Eric Holder To Resign As Attorney General (source chosen because it has no paywall)

The Internet

Journal: 5,000 attempts and going (phone book attempt) 3

Journal by damn_registrars
Some dumbass in Korea is desperately trying to gain access to my home system. In less than 6 hours, the system has made over 5,000 unsuccessful attempts to get in. I'm not sure if "phone book" is the right term or not, but they are going through a (very) long list of usernames and attempting to log in with them. One IP address the whole time, just not giving up.

Not that I expect it to make a difference, but I sent an email to their ISP.

This is an interesting change from the distributed attacks that I was used to seeing. Not sure if the two are related or not but I do seem to be seeing a larger number of attacks since being issued a new IP address at home.
United States

Journal: FDL Nails It: Superpower Performance Art

Journal by Jeremiah Cornelius

'The Cause Of Empire Leads To The Graveyard'

"This is a vision of the world in which might makes right - a world in which one nation's borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed. America stands for something different. We believe that right makes might - that bigger nations should not be able to bully smaller ones; that people should be able to choose their own future...

America is and will continue to be a Pacific power, promoting peace, stability, and the free flow of commerce among nations. But we will insist that all nations abide by the rules of the road, and resolve their territorial disputes peacefully, consistent with international law. That's how the Asia-Pacific has grown. And that's the only way to protect this progress going forward."

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: Winner! 6

Journal by damn_registrars
Nothing engages (enrages?) the crowd here on slashdot like pointing out what a tool samzenpus is when he posts whackjob conservative FUD to the front page. My first comment has so far drawn twenty-six moderations. Of those 26, the tally is currently:
  • 6 troll
  • 5 flamebait
  • 2 informative
  • 9 insightful
  • 1 interesting
  • 1 funny
  • 1 underrated
  • And 1 insightful that was undone

What actually surprises me the most is that not one of those moderations were "overrated".

Although if I could ask anything to change here on slashdot, it would be that they give us a way to actually view all these moderations in a way other than having to read the poorly-formatted comments that they send to our slashdot "inboxes". Clicking on my comment tells almost nothing useful about how it was moderated.

User Journal

Journal: Not a Racist Country? Really? 23

Journal by PopeRatzo

A black man is gunned down by police for handling a toy gun in a Walmart. A gun that Walmart was selling.

But this white guy can carry a real, loaded rifle (and body armor) in front of a school, refuses to show ID to police and nothing happens.

Open Carry laws are clearly meant just for white people. Laws that only apply to one race are the definition of racist.


Journal: The Samzenpus Failure Machine Rides Again! 8

Journal by damn_registrars
The article that this links to has nothing to do with wasting food. The point of the Seattle City Council's action is to get people to compost. You can throw as much food as you want in the compost, that is just fine. This goes with their earlier ordinances to encourage recycling, they are just trying to reduce the amount of material that is disposed of as "regular" trash.

This is in response to the atrociously miswritten Seattle Passes Laws To Keep Residents From Wasting Food. Even the worst editors on slashdot usually read at least a little ways in to an article before attempting to summarize it. However, once in a while samzenpus is so engrossed in beating off to fox news that he allows this kind of garbage to slip right in.

Well done, samzenpus. You showed us that just when we thought the front page crap here couldn't get any worse, you can still one up the crappiness. For those with short memories, I will remind us that he also posted these awful gems: NBC apologizes for editing Zimmerman 911 call

school sends child's lunch home after determining it unhealthy

Tesla will discontinue the Roadster

... and the cherry on the turd sundae:

California May Reduce Carbon Emissions By Banning Black Cars

I know I've missed plenty of great samzenpus failures along the way, but these are just some highlights. Really, why the fuck is this idiot an editor? I know some people who work for google, I'm sure they have a decent algorithm that could replace him.
User Journal

Journal: We've gone past "good enough" computing ... 7

Journal by BarbaraHudson

Time was when most of us were complaining about needing more ram, more cpu, more storage. Today? Computers are cheap, fast, multi-core, more energy-efficient than ever, with more storage than many of us will ever use ... and by the time we fill up those huge hard disks, we'll just buy a newer, faster computer with several times the storage and even more ram for less.

And if that's not enough, there's online storage. It's not just Linus Torvalds who can say "Only wimps use tape backup: real men just upload their important stuff on ftp, and let the rest of the world mirror it." Everyone does it - even when they really shouldn't.

"Fast, good, cheap - pick two?" Not any more. For most users and use cases, we really can have it all, literally right in the palm of our hand if that's what we want. Sure, a lot of the old skills that were needed when hardware sucked are now obsolete, but I for one don't miss those days. Not when I can concentrate on doing what I want instead.

Many people are unenthusiastic about their work.