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Journal: "CNN: Windows exploded"

Journal by southpolesammy

Unfortunately, this refers to the tornadoes that struck the U.S. South over the night of 2/6/08, but of course my techie side took one look at this headline on CNN.com today and said...

"Ummm...yeah....and this is surprising how? Windows has been exploding on us since day 1, and Windows Vista is no better...."

Then of course I glanced up and saw what it really referred to...

(Sad, sad panda...)

User Journal

Journal: Slashdot user knowledge is very exclusive

Journal by southpolesammy

Slashdotters need to realize just how few people actually understand technology. There is a great propensity of people here to assume that everyone knows what they're talking about and would share the same opinions of technology or related topics -- that assumption is completely faulty. In fact, I would venture that only 1 in 1000 people actually understand or care about technology to any significant degree.

For example, the requisite knowledge required to understand an Intel errata statement for a CPU buglist can likely only be gained either by taking a university-level course, such as Ohio State's CSE 675 Intro to Computer Architecture [ohio-state.edu] class, or by doing some very highly directed self-study. Given that the class is offered 4x/year with an average class size of 25 students, then roughly 100 students/year gain that knowledge. Let's also assume that 50% forget that knowledge within 5 years, so over the course of those 5 years, 250 people become capable of reading those errata.

OSU's Columbus campus enrollment is roughly 51,000/yr and yearly turnover is about 10,000/yr due to graduation and withdrawal. Therefore, over 5 years, approximately 100,000 students will have had the opportunity at taking that class and retaining the knowledge.

So, simple math tells us that only 0.25% of a college-level population will obtain and retain the requisite skills. Now extrapolate that figure across the the general population that doesn't attend college, which is roughly 60% in the US, and you get a final percentage of about 0.1% overall that can read and understand the Intel errata, and even that may be a stretch, IMHO.

Bottom line -- Slashdotters need to realize that very few people overall understand technology, and even fewer care. We need to keep this in mind when making broad, generalistic statements about topics such as Linux adoption, security concerns, and so forth. Average Joe doesn't care about computers and probably never will -- he simply wants it to work. Please don't fall subject to thinking that just because you want something to work correctly, that everyone else will follow suit.

User Journal

Journal: It's funny. Laugh. And get a sense of humor.

Journal by southpolesammy

Man, I tell ya. Some people need to lighten up around here. People are now modding down funny comments with the overrated tag. Of course I'm grousing because it happened to me (wasn't my best work, but eh...)

I know you're all raging with teenage hormones, and life isn't fair, and how come she gets a car while I get a computer, and so forth.... Geez....take a break and just enjoy some levity once in a while.

User Journal

Journal: Pervasion of the Internet

Journal by southpolesammy

It may just be the mood I'm in tonight, or perhaps that I've had one too many drinks, but I got lost in my thoughts while perusing through my kitchen cabinet, looking for a bite to eat. I found a can of cashews, and without moving the containers, found the hostname, planters.com. My eyes drifted to a box of granulated sugar -- dominosugar.com. I glanced upon an old bottle of wine I had stashed away after a long, good weekend with a great friend of mine, and found kj.com. I looked at a box of cereal -- kelloggs.com. They were even lost in some mid 90's time warp, saying something to the effect of "Look! We're on the Internet!"

It donned on me that we're not on the fringe anymore, in fact, we're not even just an alternate. In some cases, we're the primary communication mechanism. This is a major change in just 10-15 years. There has seldom been a change of this magnitude in brand recognition or customer awareness possibly in the history of marketing. In short, they're on to us.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not saying this is a bad thing. Quite the opposite. After all, my previously superlative knowledge of the Internet and websites is something that allowed me to purchase my house and get financially established. It furthered my drive to learn more about the systems upon which I built these web applications for my employers and for myself and to understand at a low level what makes them tick and what people want and desire of them. It keeps me profitable today. But I'm also quite aware that I'm no longer a uniquity. There are countless kids coming out of high school even who have the skills and knowledge (if not the wisdom) that I have after 13 years of doing this for a living (if sometimes a quasi-living, but nonetheless). But it is simultaneously encouraging.

If this is the new world order, then my childhood passion and my adult decision to pursue this has definitely been the right choice. The concept of ubiquitous computing is something that endears itself to marketing schlock like this. Where ever there is a product, there is likely a need for the information behind that product -- where to find it, how it was made, who likes it. That kind of information greatly lends itself to information technologies, and although I may not be as up to date as the high school technorati, I'm at least aware that I'm on the right track.

But this is not about me. It's about the Internet -- a technology little known to the average person only 10 years ago is now found everywhere. You can't go anywhere, look at anything anymore, without finding a URL or at least a domain name on it. This of course exempts dated materials, like old books, or your dad's tools, or photo's your mom took of you in the 70's (assuming she hasn't scanned them all in and uploaded them to whatever picture-site-of-the-day is popular), but we're a throwaway society as it is, and it's, for lack of a better term, pervasive. I don't mean to say that as either positive or negative, but just that it is what it is. It's there. It's everywhere. It's unavoidable. It's sometimes annoying. It's sometimes disturbing (do I really need to know that Charmin has a website when I'm on the toilet? They seem to think so). The website has replaced the 1-800 number.

And way back, deep within some repressed part of me, it's sad. The answer isn't talking to someone, conversing my an actual person. It's reading a FAQ, or going to techsupport.emptybusiness.com. It's telling us "We can't be bothered with your request, please try to figure it out yourself". The exchange of ideas is there, but the face-to-face is gone. The picking up on facial expressions, and inflections in tone to understand more than words can express. We've evolved (devolved?) into a printed word society. And yet, I'm not immune that world. After all, you're reading this blog. You (and I) are part of the new world.

Mind you, it's not a problem, just....different. The rules aren't broken, but they're bending -- strongly. There's stress fractures on the old way of doing things, but we're coping. It is quite interesting to me when we, those so-called techno-geeks, get together to talk about things, and we are lost for words. But online, we are masters of an expression-rich environment. We express ourselves textually in a way that would make our 10th grade English teachers proud (my apologies to my English 10R prof -- I forget your name).

So what's next? We make do with what we've got, and we realize that we're only at the beginning of the Information Age. We've only begun to tap it's potential. It's both awesome and frightening in the same thought. The scene from "Minority Report" where Tom Cruise's character is being advertised to in the mall comes to mind. "We know who you are, where you are, and what you want. And gratification is but a step (click) away."

Welcome to now.

Slashdot.org

Journal: Squelched by Slashdot

Journal by southpolesammy

Here's one I haven't seen before....

Due to excessive bad posting from this IP or Subnet, comment posting has temporarily been disabled. If it's you, consider this a chance to sit in the timeout corner . If it's someone else, this is a chance to hunt them down. If you think this is unfair, please email moderation@slashdot.org with your MD5'd IPID and SubnetID, which are "XXXXXXX" and "XXXXXXXX" and (optionally, but preferably) your IP number "a.b.c.d" and your username "southpolesammy".

This after my last 10 posts had a combined score of 28 points, including 3 Insightfuls and one each of Interesting, Informative, and Funny. So evidently, I must have pissed off some Slashdot editor with one of my posts.

Whatever guys -- it is your site, but this is bigger than the sum of its parts now, and you aren't the only fish in the sea.

User Journal

Journal: Inconsistencies

Journal by southpolesammy
  • Contribute to Police Athletic League ==> charity, good citizen
  • Give Officer Johnson a $20 to get out of a speeding ticket ==> bribery, bad citizen
  • Big business contributes millions to Congressman ==> campaign contribution, concerned organization, get what they want
  • Foreign gov't "dontates" thousands to White House and get to sleep in the Lincoln bedroom ==> bad gov't, "don't bribe us, we're above such activities"
User Journal

Journal: SCO stock manipulation

Journal by southpolesammy

Submitted this story a moment ago, but expecting that Slashdot will reject it in spite of it's obvious appeal, plus I wanna save it for reference in case I'm right, so....

SCO's stock price skyrocketed today to $12.66, a gain of over 21% in one day, on very heavy trading. The interesting part of this occurrence is that it comes on the heels of absolutely no news whatsoever today. Consequently, some have suggested that
the stock price is being manipulated by a small amount of well-connected individual investors. Their evidence is that people have been predicting large surges like this and
predicting within $1 where the stock will be as much as a week prior to it actually happening.

This leads many to suspect that a combination of the well-known pump and dump scam and the lesser known "short-and-distort" scam are being done to illegally manipulate the stock. Furthermore, they predict that at some point, one of the pump-n-dump investors is
going to predict another peak, ride the wave up, then dump everything all at once, bringing the stock to a crashing halt, meaning major profits for both of the scamming parties, leaving the rest of the investors to suffer in the fallout. It sounds plausible, and scams like this have been run before in the past, but wouldn't it be anti-climactic to see SCO's finale come in the form of trading subterfuge and not in the form of some judgement in their dealings?

Slashdot.org

Journal: Troll moderations

Journal by southpolesammy

Anyone else notice that there has been a noted increase in spurious Troll moderations lately? I've had two relevant posts moderated as trolls in the past couple weeks, even after having been originally moderated as insightful or interesting.

I have no need for karma whoring anymore, just trying to express my views, but this recent rash of troll moderations w/o any real clue as to why has got to end.

Please meta-moderate, find these bad troll moderations, and meta-moderate their privs off this site. That's the only way that it'll help.

User Journal

Journal: He's here!

Journal by southpolesammy

He did it! Connor Edward Imes came into the world on Monday, 5/5/2003 at 12:53pm! Weighed in at 7 lbs 6 oz, and measured 19 3/4", great color, all parts in the right places, and a perfect 10 on the APGAR scale! Hooray for Connor, and my wife, Gina. All are doing well, if somewhat exhausted due to lack of sleep....

User Journal

Journal: Waiting for the "son"...

Journal by southpolesammy

Roughly three weeks and counting until my little boy finally comes into this world. Here's to you, little Connor, may your life be filled with joy, curiosity, surprise, and wonders beyond your wildest dreams....

Love, Dad

User Journal

Journal: Six Feet Under

Journal by southpolesammy

I simply do not get this show. Far too morbid for my tastes. And I know it's supposed to be about a life totally unlike your own, but so is the Sopranos, and at least I get that show...

User Journal

Journal: Piss off, France 1

Journal by southpolesammy

The French have got some balls. First, they block the UN from getting involved in the situation with Iraq, and force Bush to make the unpopular decision and go forward without the UN's "approval" and remove Saddam from power. Now that it seems likely that Saddam's reign will soon end, France wants a piece of the post-Saddam Iraq, without risking anything to earn that right.

France's pre-war issue? Iraq had shown no explicit signs of having weapons of mass destruction. The news from the frontline is that Iraqi soldiers died while wearing gas masks, possibly meaning that Iraq meant to use chemical weapons against coalition forces and then send in their protected military units to attack what they expected to be devastated forces, but those troops never got the chance. I fully expect that chemical and biological weapons depots will be discovered after all. Still no response from the French, but now that the conflict may be reaching it's end soon, we really don't need their help, not that we ever did in the first place.

The biggest problem that Bush had going into this war is that he almost certainly knew that Saddam holds chemical and biological warfare munitions and was just moving them around from site to site while UNMOVIC inspectors toured suspected WMD sites. But since he couldn't prove it, and almost certainly not without disclosing confidential intelligence and jeopardizing the lives of American operatives or foreign spies living in Iraq and elsewhere, he had to go this alone, knowing that the reason was just, if not public.

Now, the US and our real allies are almost certain to prevail. France realizes this and forsees the opportunity for massive amounts of rebuilding projects within Iraq that will provide a decent boost to the US and British economies, but knows that they won't be able to reap the rewards of this reconstruction because they balked. So instead of finally admitting their mistake and getting their hands dirty, they want to leverage their position within the UN to step in and control the post-Saddam Iraq. This is an obvious end-around maneuver aimed at not being shutout of the whole opportunity at economic and political gains.

Bullshit. You had the chance, you probably knew what we knew, and now you want a piece without risking your own neck? You knew that we were going to remove Saddam with or without you. We gave you the chance, but you turned your back on us. You have nothing to do with this war, and you'll have nothing to do with the rebuilding of Iraq. You will not gain from the efforts and blood that were spent by others.

Piss off, France.

User Journal

Journal: Saddam is either badly injured or dead 1

Journal by southpolesammy

The more we hear from Saddam's stoolie, Iraqi Information Minister al-Sahaf, and less of Saddam himself, it reinforces the thoughts in all of our minds here in America that Saddam Hussein is either too badly injured to go on television and admit that we are literally beating his regime to pieces, or he is dead.

Either way, it will not cause us to cease our mission to remove his regime from power, and it forces his remaining comrades into a slow death rather than allow them to realize the futility of continuing this one-sided war.

Face it Saddam, or whomever is currently running the country -- it's over. You've lost, and now you will pay for the atrocities that you've inflicted upon your own people, as well as that of the innocentia whose lives you've destroyed around the world through your sponsorship of terrorism. Give up now, and spare the lives of your people, who are undoubtedly dying in mass numbers to maintain your tyrannical reign. Your life is already forfeit, don't continue to subject others to your fate.

FORTUNE'S FUN FACTS TO KNOW AND TELL: A guinea pig is not from Guinea but a rodent from South America.

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