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Comment: Media vs Reality (Score 1) 384

This is a good article and a good post, but the "Czar" thing isn't reflected in the article itself, so it's a bit of creativity on the part of the submitter.

The issue here is the mainstream media, which have seized on this and are whipping up people's emotions. No one expected anything else from tv "journalism" these days, but still, it's pathetic to see how it is playing out. I live in West Africa in a country that until recently was exposed to ebola. There was a patient living not more than 5 miles from my house. But life here is surprisingly calm and people are not panicking in any way, shape, or form.

Back in the States it's panic and mayhem, and as seen from abroad it looks like a big joke, which is exactly what news media have become. It's too bad.

On Reddit they had a contest to complete the sentence, "than have gotten ebola in the United States." One of the winners was, "More people have married Kim Kardashian ..."

Keep it perspective, people.

Comment: Poop bombs - go! (Score 4, Funny) 92

by water-and-sewer (#48002013) Attached to: DHL Goes Live With 'Parcelcopter' Drone Delivery Service

This technology has infinite uses. Say for example, there are some politicians in my country to whom I'd like to mail a bag of soggy dog poop. That might be a problem using traditional mail systems, but thanks to drone technology, you can just attach the bag of poop to a drone and pilot it over them as they're walking to work. Then, because the drone is probably busy with other demands, it's probably most efficient if, rather than landing, it just releases the attach hooks and drops that bag from its normal hovering altitude.

See, this is progress, thanks to technological advancement!

Comment: That guy just wasted his time (Score 0) 314

by water-and-sewer (#47851127) Attached to: GSOC Project Works To Emulate Systemd For OpenBSD

It was probably, intellectually, an interesting and challenging project. But that guy has just wasted his summer - and his code - building something no one actually wants. Have a look here - where there's reporting about a growing systemd boycott taking place.

People don't like or want systemd and are increasingly organizing to avoid it. Non systemd distros - gentoo, slackware - plus FreeBSD, where I'll be migrating my home computer tonight after work - are starting to look pretty darned good to people again.

It's true there is a need for something more dynamic and responsive than the old init script system, but systemd is not it.

Comment: it's not a technical problem (Score 1) 116

by water-and-sewer (#47815675) Attached to: E-Books On a $20 Cell Phone

It's obvious American kids aren't reading enough, and the impact and consequences of not reading are pretty well known. But this is a cultural problem, not a technical problem, and proposing a hardware solution is not the right way forward and therefore won't work.

If kids wanted to read, they could do so basically for free already by getting a free library card and going from there. New hardware won't fix this.

Comment: Lots of stuff (Score 1) 635

by water-and-sewer (#47790667) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Let's see. And by preface, I'll say I'm in my 40s, so I'm not quite yet a dinosaur. Still:

Old fashioned "safety razor" with double edged blades, fountain pen, pocket watch.

I converted all my cassettes and DVDs and stuff, so I'm modern in that aspect. But on the protocol side: I still use FTP, telnet, IRC, and Usenet pretty extensively. I'm happiest at a text console, and not just because most Linux desktops piss me off something fierce.

Other old tech: eye glasses? A sailboat? Camping gear?

Comment: Re:Usenet (Score 1) 635

by water-and-sewer (#47790547) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

Ha! Come join some other Slashcott refugees at comp.misc then. It's a pretty cool group. I also run a news server (with difficulty; INND is a royal pain in the arse): it runs the dictator.* hierarchy from (on Usenet you can connect to for Usenet access to that hierarchy).

No regrets - I love that tech!

Comment: Chill out - I dig it (Score 4, Interesting) 149

I don't know why there's so much hatred about this being a slashvertisement. I actually like articles about new hardware - it's one of the reasons I still visit sites like this.

I dig the new machine, and totally support people looking into alternative and hopefully improved/innovative designs. This thing looks cool.

You guys will figure that out when you calm down a bit.

Comment: Re:Fatsos (Score 3, Insightful) 88

Conversely, maybe we can now take snide, fucking smart-alecks and swap them into the body of a lardass so they can experience the humiliation and despair of being obese, so people like you can have a little more empathy for the human condition.

Meanwhile, every tranny on earth just got serious wood thinking about the potential of this technology.

Comment: Re:Bring back Usenet! (Score 1) 142

by water-and-sewer (#47285455) Attached to: Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

It exists - sort of - and it's pretty cool. Check out It's a web overlay to Usenet, permitting modding up and down and a lot more. Written by a guy who really loves Usenet but recognizes that it needs a web interface that provides the functionality people coming from systems like Reddit or Slashdot would expect.

It's pretty commendable, really. GIve it a look.

Comment: So can we call it an oligopoly now? (Score 5, Insightful) 154

It's ridiculous one company can just 'sell' its customers. Customers should have the choice. This is ridiculous and unfair and shows any semblance of 'regulation' of the field is a joke. Regulation in name only.

How about if I just sell a couple of 'bought' Congressmen? Because they weren't doing much anyway, other than pissing me off.

Comment: Re:Why Care (Score 1) 199

by water-and-sewer (#46293303) Attached to: Facebook To Buy WhatsApp

The fact that there are no "Fuck Beta" articles at Soylent is irrelevant. There are none on the "Daring Fireball" blog either, for obvious reasons - that's not where you'd expect to find them.

Furthermore, while Soylent doesn't yet have a huge number of comments it's clear there is a committed community of interested readers that like the site. So it's got lots of hope and lots of promise. I think it's early to boast "Soylent has better comments" but there's certainly proof the gang is heading in that direction.

A bunch of us defected to Usenet too, and are hanging out at comp.misc where there has to date been some really interesting conversation.

In sum, there are now several competing forums run by different groups in different ways. Let the best site win! And to win, you need good articles, healthy commentary, and a committed community hoping to keep "their" place a good one to visit. I think that's kind of the way it should be.

Comment: Interesting (Score 1) 265

by water-and-sewer (#46293277) Attached to: Math Models Predicted Global Uprisings

I've read a lot of those old "doomsaying" articles and in general they're interesting. But the Malthusians have been preaching the same apocalypses for a long time now and they've generally failed to come true.

I agree resource scarcity is essentially at the root of most of our problems, and over at http://www.dictatorshandbook.n... the discussion basically revolves around the idea that religious wars are a proxy for resource grabs, while bad governments either prevent more violence or promote it to achieve short-term political gains.

Bring on the world war and let's get back out of everyone's face. And let the MiddleEast burn, so we can do something nice on the ashes.

Hey speaking of predicting uprisings, I'll bet Dice's models never predicted so many Slashdotters would bail out in disgust their commentary on the new Beta was ignored! See you on Usenet at comp.misc.

Comment: I'm in. See you at comp.misc in the meantime (Score 2) 40

by water-and-sewer (#46201773) Attached to: The Individual Midnight Thread

The more I visit alternatives to Usenet, the more I miss Usenet. It might not be forever, but during the Slashcott I'm going to need someplace to post and read and learn from other techies, and that place will be comp.misc on Usenet.

Anyone who doesn't know Usenet and wants to join the conversation, all you need is a news provider and a news client.

Android: NNTP Reader, Phonews
iOS: Newstap
Mac: Thunderbird, MT-Newswatcher, Unison, Pineapple, Hogwasher
Windows: Gravity, Xnews, Thunderbird
Linux/BSD: SLRN, Knode, Pan, TIN, Alpine, others

Servers:, AIOE,org, I like, because it has lower traffic and works great.

Anyway, on Usenet, I can determine your karma all by myself, and assign you points as I see fit. And you can do the same to me.

Bonus: No advertising, no javascript, just crusty old nerds discussing news that matters.

Comment: As seen on Usenet: comp.misc (Score 5, Informative) 168

by water-and-sewer (#46198159) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Distributed Online Storage For Families?

I've been reading Slashdot since 2000, so going on 14 years now. But I'll be stopping next week in support of the boycott, and maybe after that, if the interface catastrophe called "Beta" goes live.

See you on Usenet at comp.misc where old school commenting is happening: no mods, no karma, no whitespace, and no advertising. Just a lot of old geeks with killfiles and a keyboard.

Uck fay Eta bay!

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