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Surround Sound Quickies 197

Let's start this off with SanLouBlues's submission about a video made by splicing old 8bit video games (I don't think it'll work on Linux, but it's worth finding a box to watch this). And now, the senseless destruction portion of the show: stevenma sent an ISP's excuse letter, including a photo of the bullet damage from the wire! friedo knows how to make a hard drive squeal, but on purpose. If that's not enough destruction for you, knisa sent in a story about a meteor destroying a 1980 Ford. Slightly less-destructive violence was submitted by Steve Stag, who notes that Nerf has discovered that their weapons appeal to adults too. (well duh!) An anonymous reader noted that Liam Neeson's lightsaber from Phantom Menace is being auctioned off for charity. WhyPanic sent us a site that talks about Vintage Unix. An anonymous reader noted that in Finland, you pay traffic violations based on your income, and this dot-com millionaire was fined $70,000 for 20 miles/hour over the speed limit! Speaking of dot-coms, warland wonders if todays dot-coms would get funding if they tried to pitch their ideas today? And now for the truly strange stuff: conraduno sent in a palindromic C program. NinjaPablo sent in a link about a guy breaking a centipede 14-year-old record by scoring 7,111,111 points (and I thought breaking 200,000 on joust made me cool ;) head_the_mongoose sent us "Call Me Darth", a Darth Vader site that simply needs to be seen.
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Surround Sound Quickies

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Akamai does geographic caching. It is called Akamaized and a few of the big portal sites use it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Off, me pisses! Westley Brian to credited fucking -- be really should.
  • Don't they use the metric system in Finland?

    We do. As the body of the Financial Times article says, Rytsölä was fined for driving 70km/hour in a 40km/hour zone. (Now, if we really used the metric system, shouldn't it be in meters per second?)

  • Well yes... hence the usage in Denmark and Scandinavia. A large chunk of England was ruled by the Danes for several hundred years, so it's not surprising that English common law would share some the of the same concepts.
  • You misunderstand the progressive tax. All of your income is not taxed at the same rate. Given the following fictional tax scheme:
    up to 10,000/5%
    up to 100,000/10%
    up to 1,000,000/20%
    over 1,000,000/30%
    The first 10,000 you make is taxed at 5%, or $500.
    The next 90,000 (100,000 - 10,000) is taxed at 10%, the next 900,000 (1M - 100K) is taxed at 20%. So if you make $101,000 you are taxed at
    5% of 10,000 - $500
    10% of 90,000 - $9000
    and 20% of 1,000 - $200
    for a total tax of $9700. By your calculation the tax would be $20,200, which is not the way it works.
  • Cablevision in New Jersey... heh... I remember the lack of service, and the letter. What it all came down to IMHO is some bean counter decided it would be cheaper to send everyone a letter than to credit them for the half day of no service.

    Normally, the cable (TV) company credits you for the downtime if you ask. In this case, they are trying not to. Ah.. Bigger issue, ONE CABLE for all of thier clients in the whole state??!?

  • Recently at school I have been trying to out-do a mysterious "ALI" on the school's Galaga machine. Everytime I would get the high score, Mr. ALI (a guy because I think I saw him one time) would come along and score higher. We started at about 200,000. I thought I finally ended it at 476,000, but ALI came back. The next jump I made was to 796,000, which stood for a long time.

    Today I came in to school to see that ALI set it at 993,000!

    I was only able to break 700,000 today, but I think that one million is possible before Christmas break. Nothing worse than being 40 minutes into a game and realizing you need to leave for class...

    Now I only need two things:
    1) For the janitor staff to quit unplugging the machine once every couple of months
    2) A stand-up version of Galaga for my house...

    A well timed article concerning the Centipede high score. I had not seen TwinGalaxies before...
  • In Ohio (and, I suspect, in many other places), you can go to jail rather than pay a fine. If you're too poor to pay $500, you can "serve" 20 days in jail instead. Soak the poor indeed.

    Basing jail terms on actuarial statistics is problematic, though. Judges are often lenient on the very old. However, there also reasons to be lenient on the very young (minors).

    Our judicial system, for better or worse, values the freedom of a first time offender over a havitual criminal (read-- one who has committed two felonies.)

    In California, a twice felon will face life in prison for petty larceny, but a naive kid won't. Under you fractional life system of sentencing, the kid would "serve" longer than the experienced criminal.

    In addition, prison time is dangerous. That makes calculating actuarial parole messy.
  • I agree.

    If fines are meant to deter traffic offences, then a $100 fine is no deterrent to anyone with a lot of money. Heck, they may just think of it as "an expensive parking spot" or "a speed toll". And if fines are meant to be punitive, a $100 fine is no punishment at all to someone with enough money.

    One possibility is for fines to actually be assessed through the tax system, but that might not work since the very rich often pay little or no tax.


  • Here's the output from GCC on the ``palindromic C program'':

    blp:/raid/home/blp(0)$ gcc -ansi -pedantic c.otto.c
    c.otto.c: In function `main':
    c.otto.c:30: invalid lvalue in assignment
    c.otto.c:33: invalid lvalue in increment

    The problem is that the program contains two assignments of the form ``(int) x = y;''. Now, the problem with that is that the result of a cast is not an "lvalue" in C; that is, a cast cannot appear on the left side of an assignment operator.

    Other than that, very cool!
  • go hang a salami, i'm a lasagna hog
  • Satan, oscillate my metallic sonatas

    I once saw a palindrome that was a Latin phrase that, when read backwards, was its English translation. I'll be damned if I can remember it. I think I read it in Anguished English, by Richard Lederer.

  • I've been looking for a converter. What do you use, and where do you get it?
  • The green running guy in the beginning is from Keystone Kapers, as are many of the sounds. (He's blue in the game.) That's also what the mall scene is from.
  • Tell dave that his game was one of the most amusing pieces of software I've ever run across, Linux or otherwise. I was laughing my ass off... nothing like playing as RMS and killing MS employees after watching the Mallrats-style blueprint loading up...


  • I admire both of you guys - I thought I read that wrong when he apologized.

    BTW, I found your joke rather amusing and the site utterly stupid and a waste of bandwidth.

    Nice work.

  • here [] ;)

    What about the copyright restrictions?

  • Doubtful you would succeed - if you are in the silicon valley feel free to come and try to.

    I'm thinking a new sport, something about beeting up slashdot trolls.

  • Well, comparing both of your posts, I know which I thought was more grown-up, and it wasn't yours. The only one bitching is you.

  • Slashdot is a "high end"* web site -- multiple servers behind a load balancer with a dedicated, very high performance database server for DB queries, and all the bits inbetween are high end -- SCSI disk, full duplex fast or gigabit ethernet, and so on. It's designed to withstand DoS,

    Many of the sites the Slashdot links to are "low end"* web sites without any redudnancy or performance enhancing systems or are shared between many sites. The traffic Slashdot brings brings them to their knees..

    * Obviously low end and high end are relative terms. Get over it.
  • hey, beats the hell out of cutting funds to the busses and opening up the HOV lanes for more of those damnable SUVs

    why are there so many SUVs in capitol hill anyway?

    (I escaped last spring..I miss seattle though...even the damn yuppie ford expiditions trying to mow me down behind my apartment building)
  • You know, being an ex-capitol hill resident, I think I have to agree.

  • This is in reference to the Vintage Unix link..

    I currently own a Sparc IPX with the Weitek Powerup chip. I bought the machine from a guy at a computer show that thought it was a PC but couldnt find a way to hook a monitor up to it and get it to boot. $25 for the unit including the upgrade and a 200 meg hard drive with the previous owners install of Solaris.

    I've owned or used quite a bit of Sun hardware in the past (the only sun hardware I own now is the IPX).

    The 4/110 I owned was the server for my domain for about 6 months or so. Running NetBSD with a really fast SCSI drive it served its purpose and did amazingly well considering its age. The box virges on being "Cute" but is just a little too bulky.

    The 4/260 was a fun beast. It took two people to lift it out of the trunk of my car at the time. They put casters on the unit for a very good reason. I believe this beast had a least 12 huge fans, 6 above and 6 below the card cage. When you turned this thing on, the lights dimmed and you would think a 747 had just landed in the room. The other cool thing was the power supply that came down on a tray making it easy to work on (although the power supply is the size of a mini-tower PC case. :)

    All of these machines have been quite nice hardware wise. Everything feels much more solid and stong than current PC hardware I'm used to. I haven't had the chance to get my hands on newer Sun hardware (I would imagine that the system admin's at work would get scared if I started touching one of the newer boxes) and I hope that sun has continued the legacy of building good hardware. Sun hardware aside, I wish PC hardware had some of the features of my IPX. NVRAM is nice, you can tweak machine settings, run diagnostics and other cool things that just arent available on a PC BIOS.

    If you've only used PC hardware and are willing to spend a hundred dollars are so, go pick up an old IPX-era sun box and play with it. I think you'll be impressed and even though some of them are over 15 years old, they can still make worthy machines. Check out the Sun Hardware Faq (first hit on google) for more information and some nostagia.

    End of rant,
  • Actually, you dont need a monitor and keyboard directly attached to the unit itself. Throw a dumb terminal (or minicom on your PC) onto serial port A and set the term settings to 9600 N81 (dont forget the null modem in the line) and turn the sparc on. Wait a few mins and you should start to see output. If you don't, mess arround with the term settings and such.

    I know of no PS2 to sun convertor for the keyboard. As for the monitor, there is a convertor I believe but either I don't remember ever having one or if I did have one, I've never got it to work. You do need an ethernet transciever, check your local PC stores (call first).

    Email me if you need more help with that unit. Also check the Sun Hardware FAQ that I referenced in my main post..

  • Boot from the network and install that way.

    Much easier...
  • Palindromic or not, it's certainly not news: it was winner of Best Layout in the 1987 Obfuscated C Contest. Why this unattributed copy deserves mention in Slashdot escapes me...
  • The name of the band is Golden Shower. The song is "Video Computer System." The video actually wom MTV Brazil's Best Electronic Video award for 2000. The band's website is here []. Yes, that's the right URL. Trust me. :^) It's been completely revamped since when I got the movie. (From memepool? classicgaming? slashdot?) The making of the video (which I think is a recent addition) is here []. It was made pretty much like you described it.

    Oh, and the "mall game" is Keystone Kapers, by Activision. Google that if you're curious.

  • So, what, we should extend this to prision sentences to? If you are 20 and rob a bank you should get 30 years, since you have more average lifetime left, but if you are 60 you should get a few months?
  • So not everyone has an equal right to money? If it were possible to accurately estimate lifespan would you want prorated prison sentences for people that were going to live shorter lives? It seems to me that this could also be looked at as a case of poor people paying less, instead of rich people paying more. If someone wants to go out and break the law, shouldn't they attempt to earn more money, so that it hurts him less? Doesn't that make just as much sense?
  • 200,000 on Joust! Wimp! I once scored 5,000,000 and only stopped 'cause they closed the store.
    Joust was cool. Williams' games were all cool.
    I could infinite-play Robotron, too.
  • Here in Dallas a couple of weeks ago I saw 7 Bell lift trucks all backed up to the same wire between two poles. Thought it was strange to have so many. Later I asked a Bell guy working behind my house. He said that someone had put TWO bullet holes in the line about 10 feet apart. I said "That's amazing, why would someone shoot at the phone line?". He said "don't know, but it happens all the time". He went on to say that it looked like a 9mm.
  • race car is one.

    The best one that I know of is: A man, a plan, a canal: Panama! (punctuation and whitespace don't count).

    In Peter van der Linden's book Expert C Programming: Deep C Secrets (the butt-ugly fish book), he discusses a program to create palindromes based on a large wordlist. If you get a computer to do the dirty work for you, it's possible to come up with some very long (if nonsensical) palindromes.

  • Ere is a Middle English word that means 'soon'.

    Amazing - you know it's from middle english, and yet don't know it's proper definition. Ere means before [], and the palindrome is in reference to Napoleon, who was exiled to Elba for awhile. He came back, but only a few months later was the battle of Waterloo, and his days as Emporer were pretty much over.


  • Well, I think that hard drive squealing is terrific. I remember (ah, years ago) downloading a little application that made my Commodore 64's 1541 floppy drive play "A Bicycle Built For Two". I'm sure it was ever so healthy for the hardware, but it was absolutely worth it just for the jawdrop factor. If I'd had a girlfriend at the time I would have invited her over and tried lamely to impress her with it; as it was, I just played it over and over again for myself, heedless of the wear to the drive head, and tried to hack my own songs.

    What to do with those near-useless old 20MB hard drives? Build a cheap surround-sound system!
  • Mmm, /. effect.

    Often the large files are mirrored, so a quick search on google for either the file name or the keywords will get you to an unslashdotted version.

    Of course, that's a tedious solution, so how about this: an automatic mirror finder so when /. posts a link to a big file, the system automagically does a net search for files with approx. the same size and name, and links to them too on a "possilbe mirrors" page...

    Or something.

  • ok, mr. steven ball obviously knows nothing about cameras, because he thinks that if you put the camera as close as you can, you'll get a big, clear picture. sorry, but unless you have a macro function on ur digicam, you won't be able to get a focused picture while you're less than a foot or two away from the subject. get one with macro, or better yet, buy a canon d30 and a cheap sigma macro lens... then you'll be able to get pictures like these [] .

  • I start downloading the 8-bit games movie (pretty damn cool) when there were only 3 comments posted. Starts out dloading at 45 K/sec, but steadily drops... and drops...

    me too.

    here you go []

    use LaTeX? want an online reference manager that
  • Just carry high liability limits (i.e. towards $1 million). It doesn't cost as much as you would think, and, trust me, your insurance company will deploy the O.J. defense team to get out of paying a claim anywhere near that. (The guy in the Lexus SUV you hit will not be happy :).) If you carry state liability requirements on the order of $50k, though, they'll pay out the $50k and let you hang out to dry. (Not speaking from experience, IANAIS (I am not an insurance salesman), yadda yadda.)
  • The software at that link is System V Release 2, and as far as I know there is no way to get that legally for free. You can get current System V Release 4 for free (depending on how you plan to use it) from places like SCO [] and Sun [].

    SysVR2 is about 15 years too late to be "original Unix", though. You can get binary versions of much earlier systems -- Fifth, Sixth, and Seventh Edition research Unix -- free for personal use, with Supnik's simulator at DEC's ftp site [].

    If you want to get early Unix source, and some versions other than those above, you can get a suitable Unix source license for free from SCO [].

    For information on early Unix, you could start with The UNIX Heritage Society [], or perhaps Dennis Ritchie's home page [].

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Wow, I never knew Vader was a Jew...
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What IS the standard operating procedure when a fibre cable is severed by a bullet?

    Lucent: Send out a press release saying that new Lucent "Copper Fibre" Technology is "nearly bulletproof".

    Corvis: Send out a press release saying that Corvis equipment can function even if the cable is severed by a bullet.

    State Highway Patrol: Fine the bullet for speeding.

    PSInet: Ask the person who fired it if they want to buy some PSInet stock, cheap.

    MCI/Worldcom: Ask the person who fired it if they would like cheap long distance service for their friends and family.

    QualComm: scold the person at the end of the fibre for not using a cell phone instead.
  • Jeff K is a lot funnier :)

    oops, excuse me, I mean JEFF K IS A LTO FUNNYAR!!! ;)

  • I already had it on my HD from the _last_ time it was mentioned on Slashdot :)

    Stick with it- the Matrix parody alone is worth the wait :)

  • I've been a user on NO since it started, and a SysOp there for quite some time.

    Nerfonline is not Hasbro's official Nerf website. That's, and it sucks. In general, Hasbro is a bunch of idiots that keep on discontinuing good guns and keeping the bad ones around. (I'm gonna miss the SuperMaxx 1500)
  • That's why there is a point system in the US, 12 points, and you can't drive for a while. What about a poor person driving, should we not charge him at all?

  • Sure they should be fined. But you can fine them a lot less and still have the same impact. A $100 dollar fine might mean that they eat saltines and ketchup for a couple weeks.

  • Apparently you have yet to learn the first rule of government: It never works both ways.

    Actually, that's not really relevant here since you're talking about civil cases. In those, I imagine most people think the damages depend more on the defendant's wealth than the plaintiff's, even though they shouldn't, officially. I guess we've all heard about people suffering whiplash when read-ended by a wealthy stockbroker or something and receiving much higher damages (or settlemements) than they would have if my grandma had hit them (plus, of course, they might not have sued granny at all).

    That doesn't quite sit right with me.

  • Should it work the same way for liability? If your tottering grandmother runs over a millionaire, should she be fined 500,000 to make restitution for the victim's family, so they can maintain their standard of living?

    That's not a fair comparison. The purpose of a fine for minor violations is a sort of punishment, not restitution. (The effectiveness of that punishment is debatable.) If you level flat fines, wealthy individuals will view the fine as simply the price they pay for the privelege of speeding. From my experience, many people view it exactly that way. For the punishment to have any value, it needs to be more than a slap on a wrist. $500 is serious money to me (I could buy a new CPU!), but it's not worth picking up off the street to Bill Gates.

    I find your statement particullarly funny given that the driver in question didn't challenge the fine and seemed to find it reasonable.

  • If it's so FFForking dangerous why they can't they uh....fine him up to some arbitrary amount and take away the GUY's Licence?????? I mean what's the goal here? Make people drive safely or tax fast cars or what? This is like fining drunk drivers over and over and then revoking the fine because the drunk driver now can't afford to drive his car to get to work to earn the money to pay the fine.

    I know that where I live if I get caught speeding in a school zone there is a better than even chance I will lose my driving privileges. If I also have to pay a few thousand dollars in fines that is the easy part.
  • I should go onto Google and do this research myself, but I'm dogeffingtired and really stressed out, so I'll just weenie out:

    I've always though "flat tax" meant everyone pays a flat percentage. ie) a 10% flat tax would charge a $10K income $1000, and a $100K income $10000.

    Seems fair enough to me, from a first-cut level.

  • It's much fairer. Fines are not damages - they are punitive, and meant to disincentivize speeding and other violations. If you have millions of dollars, a $200 fine will not disincentivize you from anything. I would like to see this approach adopted here in the US.
  • I find this stray bullet interesting... I have Verizon DSL which has a tendency to go down about 4-5 times per day on average usually for minutes at a time. However about once every other week it will be down for a good 6+ hours. I've never heard any nightmare stories about cable, and I see this letter as supporting the theory that cable is much more reliant than DSL. When my DSL goes down, I have to call their tech support and listen to a recording saying that they are having technical issues in my area. Cablevision, however, sent a freaking letter because their service was out for a couple hours. Verizon seems to be very used to technical difficulties, while Cablevision does not. Any thoughts?
  • by rde ( 17364 )
    Well actually I was just kidding. No attempt at either irony or hypocrisy. Sorry.

    Boy, is my face red. Years of bitching about assholes who couldn't spot humour that wasn't accompanied by myriad smilies, and I go ahead and do the self-same thing.

    By way of explanation - if not mitigation - I humbly offer as evidence the googols of comments of the nature outlined and ask, if not for forgiveness, then at least for a modicum of understanding.
  • Bogus.

    You can download Linux v0.01 here [].

    You can still download Unix V5, V6, and V7, along with a PDP-11 simulator to run them on, here []. Hope you know ed though...

    And who would WANT to run anything else on that page anyway? Never mind the legality of it all.
  • And if you are unemployed and have no income, you can speed all you want for free!
  • This assumes, though, that each extra dollar is worth the same to the individual surely?

    If everyone is charged tax at (say) 20%, its impact one someone who's earning minimum wage is fairly substantial but its impact on someone earning $1 million / year is negligible. Mr Minimum Wage has a very low disposable income and is running on tight margins to get an acceptable standard of living. Mr. Millionaire, on the other hand, could afford several acceptable standards of living and has a pretty large disposable income.

    Charge tax at a curve and you start getting closer to a genuinely level burden on the population.

  • Home version != arcade version. The play's going to be different, sometimes the scoring is different, the levels may be different, etc. Even if it's an emulation using the same arcade rom, there's no guarantee to Guinness that the gameplay was the same. Perhaps the emulator ran the game slightly slower so your reflexes didn't have to be as good. For all they know, you could have hacked the rom to make it significantly easier. Sure you could technically also do that with the arcade version, but as a general rule the overall chances of cheating are less on an actual arcade unit. Guinness wants its records to stand up to questioning. It may have started out as a bar book, but now a lot of people use it as a reference of sorts. With that comes increased responsibility for integrity.

  • He hooked up the controller from his own Centipede arcade machine. Considering the tendency of Centipede trackballs to get rather gummy or just downright barely working (there's a machine I played once where you had to put some major spin on the bastard to get even the slightest movement), I can't blame him for bringing his own well-maintained trackball. The electronics that receive the input from it are still the same.

  • Is this American dollars?

    If it was, then no matter who it was - unless he was endangering others lives (like if he had one other car around him at any time - or he had another person in his vehicle) - this seems excessive.

    Not too long ago, I was caught speeding outside of El Centro, CA - I was doing 10 mph over the speed limit (75 in a 65 zone). To be honest, I didn't even realize I was speeding until I looked out the rearview mirror and seen the cop (I had gotten a severe sunburn the day before at Oceanside - and probably shouldn't have been driving - wasn't feeling very good). I pulled over, got the ticket, and went on my way. I later paid the fine, attended an online traffic school (to keep the points away) - in all, spent about $130 - plus my time.

    Do I still speed - no - I realize now it isn't worth it - 65 vs 75 doesn't shave much time off in the end.

    What gets me about the whole incident is the situation - I was speeding - yes - but I was outside of El Centro (about 25 miles outside), and anyone who has been out there knows it is flat, open land (desert?) - there wasn't a SINGLE car around me - my car is well tuned, the tires at proper pressure - the highway I was on was well maintained with a smooth surface, on a straight section. It was a VERY sunny and hot day (good grip on the road). I wasn't weaving, the road was empty around me (well, aside from the cop who probably pulled out from under an overpass to pull me over).

    I guess what I am trying to say is that I realize that I broke the law - but that in the whole scheme of things I was really a danger to nobody, including myself. It wasn't like I was cruising at 120 in a 60 mph zone.

    The final thing that irks me about all of this is what I know of an American citizen's constitutionally protected "Right to Travel" - if you really want your eyes opened, check out this link:

    The Right to Travel []

    Essentially, the argument is (excerpted from the link above):

    The forgotten legal maxim is that free people have a right to travel on the roads which are provided by their servants for that purpose, using ordinary transportation of the day. Licensing cannot be required of free people, because taking on the restrictions of a license requires the surrender of a right. The driver's license can be required of people who use the highways for trade, commerce, or hire; that is, if they earn their living on the road, and if they use extraordinary machines on the roads. In other words, if you are not using the highways for profit, you cannot be required to have a driver's license.

    For further info, check out these links:

    Vehicle Manufacturer's Certificate/Statement of Origin []

    Vehicle Registration in California []

    If you are an American driver/"owner" of a vehicle, you owe it to yourself (as a supposedly free individual) to be aware of this information...

    Worldcom [] - Generation Duh!
  • The UNIX version at that link is apparently System V Release 2, so the description, "The Unix system that started it all. BSD split shortly after this was released." is way off on both counts. System V Release 2 dates from 1984, which makes it about fifteen years too late to have "started it all". The first BSD stuff appeared in the late 70s, and diverged from Sixth & Seventh Edition research Unix, not System V. In fact it was with System V that the USG branch (AT&T's commercial UNIX, distinct from Bell Labs research UNIX) started incorporating BSD software -- things like csh and vi.

  • that is what "flat tax" means. I think the original poster ment "progresive" where the idea is that as a citizen of a country you want to give your government as much money as you can afford without effecting your standard of living. So the rich can give more than the poor. Which is, quite frankly, just stupid. When I'm poor I don't want to give anything to the government - they take my money. When I'm rich I hardly think I want to do anything different, but I guess I wont notice it as much when they do come to steal my money.
  • actually I found it quite insulting.
  • well here we go again. Once more Slashdot has posted a link to a "rather big file" and immediately crashed the site. Not to mention the fact that the poor slob who put this movie up on the net has had to pay through the nose for all the megabytes he has sent out (well, maybe not, but I'm sure someone somewhere is charging someone for the bandwidth). Think about it, Slashdot is an internationally visited site. There's probably a few tens of thousand of us Australians who have pulled down that clip and each and every time it has travelled under the atlantic or bounced off a satelight! Would it be so hard for Slashdot to set up servers and mirror the content before posting? Perhaps they could use some automatic caching technology [] to cut down on bandwidth load. How slow does the Internet run because of Slashdot?
  • pffft.. if MS had their way they could just unwrite history any time they liked. No, we will not bow to copyright restrictions when it comes to software this bad. Let every man download Windows 1.01 (or 2.03 for that matter) and truely wonder what was going through Microsoft's mind at the time. Remember, when Windows first came out Microsoft was staring at a Lisa wondering how this super expensive machine could do the amazing things it did, and their futile attempts to copy it are their for your eyes to see, now and forever.
  • "it's too hard and it would piss people off" that's not much of a response. If you are going to link directly to a movie as was done here, there is no issue with clickthrus and we don't want the author to update the movie after Slashdot has linked to it (we want to see what was reported), so for this specific case there is no reason why it shouldn't be cached.
  • Indeed, it is better to be rich than poor. If you are going to fine the rich more than the poor, shouldn't you also base jail sentences on life expectancy and give smokers and others with poor health a lower jail sentence?
  • That was high quality fiber optic cable close to my house, which runs at $100 a foot, and they probably had to replace the entire length of it, costing up to $100,000.

    That may be my last $10 rebate I get from Optimum Online.

    BTW, the squealing Hard drive was like nails on a chalkboard, I almost couldn't bear to hear the whole thing.
  • There are many that are for a "flat" tax and our current "flat" fine system. Unfortunatly, flat mean regressive. What a progressive tax and fine system does is make the actual cost incurred by the person equal across economic classes.

    Almost all of the flat tax plans that I've heard of (most notably the one advocated by Steve Forbes in the 1996 election) mean "flat" as in a flat percentage of your income. Therefore the "actual cost" (as you have redefined it) of the tax for each person is the same under a flat tax scheme.

    This to me seems more like what you are advocating for the punitive fines. It follows the equal percentage of your income logic that was in the last part of your comment. It is different from what is currently in place in the US where you pay a higher percentage of your income if your income is larger.

    I think the analogous tax scheme of our current traffic fine scheme would be something like where everyone pays $20,000 per year. Perhaps not too bad for you or me, perhaps simple to Warren Buffet, but horribly difficult for the mailman or bus driver. I would agree with you that that would be a horrible plan.

    I would argue that the flat tax plan actually makes the "actual cost" incurred by the person equal across economic classes.

  • > If the slashdot effect really exists

    It does, according to this [] and this [].

    This obvious answer to your question is about Slashdot never falling victim to the slashdot effect is that the Slashdot server(s) is (are) superior to the other servers that are getting slashdotted. As well, I would imagine that Slashdot's connection/bandwidth is pretty impressive.
  • Read the Slashdot FAQ
    They address your concerns there.
  • I used to take apart all sorts of computer parts that weren't supposed to be taken apart in highschool.

    I always used to wonder about those warranty stickers on hard drives, "Must only be dismantled in college".

    I thought this was quite a sad article. Have we really got to the point where Slashdot geeks need instructions on how to dismember kit ? What happened to simply getting in there and finding out for yourself ?

    My young son is just about at the point where he's dangerous with a screwdriver. He also understands perfectly well that I'll never tell him off for dismantling the VCR (but equally he'll never get to watch "Bob the Builder" again). Fortunately I also keep him well supplied with bits of obscure scrap so he's never short of something to pull apart and investigate.

  • For starters I believe that in most places, you are free to take the matter of your speeding ticket to court if you want to. It will probably end by you paying the fine plus legal fees plus your wasted time, but if you truly have a case, feel free to try.

    You are absolutely right about how expedients cannot be used for heavy penalties, but that's the point
    A 25$ ticket would mean nothing to Bill Gates (He'd lose far more money by having the cop keeping him busy for five minutes), but would mean living on bread and water for a month for someone else.
    So wether or not a 25$ fine is too heavy for an expidient depends on who's getting it.

    There are real problems though.
    Consider how fines might go into the county budget, that pays the cops. They would probably focus more on "Let's bust those in expensive cars" than "Let's bust those who endanger road safety"

  • But you're already assumed to be guilty. That's my objection. The cop doesn't have to prove that you broke the law, you have to prove that you didn't.

    Don't think so (unless you live in a fscked up jurisdiction) It is just that the cop probably has a laser gun that is approved by the law, designed to be evidence enough (together with the testimony of the cop) to get a conviction, should it go to court.

    OK I exagerated about the bread and water stuff. And I don't think that the nice teory of flexible fines scales too well to reality. But admit that the theory is sound (granted that fines should serve as an effective deterrent)
    Now speeding is one of the few crimes that actually are committed in a risk-calculated manner. "No cop in sight, step on it", "High-fine county. Take it slow"
    Penalties as deterrents might actually work.

  • Traffic tickets are tricky things. Sure, maybe 80 or even 90 percent of the time it's obvious that the guy was running a red light, or speeding, or what have you. But that remaining 10-20% of the time, whoo boy. Did he REALLY run the red light, or was he close enough to the intersection that when the light turned yellow he wasn't able to stop? Is he driving without a turn signal, or did the bulb burn out during the current car trip? You're getting fined without the benefit of a trial, and without the benefit of "innocent until proven guilty."

    So long as the fines are fairly low, this is no BIG deal. I mean, we've gotta keep the roads safe somehow, and I've never heard of any better scheme (though I'm open if anyone's got good ideas). But once the fines start reaching into the thousands, you can't let the cop act as judge jury and "executioner."

    Any time you use an expedient, because of circumstances, rather than doing things the truly just way, you have to make sure that expedient is only used in unimportant cases. You see the same thing in government. What would truly be just is if everyone agreed on everything that was done. This is impractical. So it would be fairly just if we voted democratically on every proposed law (it would still be a "tyranny of the majority," but at least everyone would have direct input). This may be practical soon, if some of the problems with online voting are worked out, but it's not now, and it certainly wasn't when the Constitution was drafted. This leaves us with electing representatives. It's an expedient, but they still have to ammend the Consitution if they want to do anything REALLY big.

    Any time there's a new proposal, always think of the potential for abuse FIRST, then consider what's good about it. We live in an imperfect world, and most things that sound good fail miserably in practice.

  • Maybe, but I'll never know because the colors on that page gave me an instant headache.

  • Thanks; I was wondering. EiC wouldn't take it without int in front of main either, so the whole palindrome thing was shot right there.

  • "Now, to kick off the meeting, let's have some palindromes."
    "Rise to vote, sir!"
    "Now, you know that voting isn't until later in the agenda..."
    "No - 'Rise to vote, sir!' is a palindrome!"
    "Ahh, Lisa, you'll fit right in here."
    "Wow! Me? Fit in?"

  • Call Darth Vader a gay sadomasochist in a comment and you get nailed as a Troll.
    Call Darth Vader a gay sadomasochist on a web page and you get a story on slashdot.

    That's funny, but it's also pretty sad. I can't be the only person here who found the page not only not unamusing but also really intolerant. I'm sure that the gay readership of Slashdot is offended by such poor humor at their expense. There's no way this link would have been posted if it were making fun of Vader as being black or Jewish.

  • Unless you bought a new car lately. My car is electronically limited to 130mph by the computer, although its capable of going about 15mph faster than that. Anyone know how to hack onboard computers?
    -------------------------------------- -------------------
    I bent my wookie
  • It sounds promising, but Democrats would adjust the rates so that anybody who makes less than $X / year will actually receive money as a fine.

    My mom is not a Karma whore!
  • An anonymous reader noted that in Finland, you pay traffic violations based on your income, and this dot-com millionaire was fined $70,000 for 20 miles/hour over the speed limit!

    Don't they use the metric system in Finland?

    "Fdisk format reinstall, doo dah doo dah,
  • Should it work the same way for liability? If your tottering grandmother runs over a millionaire, should she be fined 500,000 to make restitution for the victim's family, so they can maintain their standard of living?

    Actually, I believe that kind of calculation can enter into the award in a wrongful death suit.


  • I was extra-special bored tonight, so I went ahead and converted the video from Quicktime to DivX avi []!

    I know it's a bit late in the posting process to get many hits, but it's the thought that counts, right?

    Get yer copy at [].
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:15PM (#590719)
    while it may look symmetrical, it's hardly palindromic. it would have to be able to be read identically backwards and forwards to be palindromic.
  • by K-Man ( 4117 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @04:00PM (#590720)
    I can just see it now - a black van pulls up at the Optimum Online office, the side door slides open, and several black-clad men jump out, and do what? Take cover, and start returning fire?
    Yes, with Nerf weapons.
  • by Cid Highwind ( 9258 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:20PM (#590721) Homepage
    The entire program may not be a palindrome, but each line taken individually is.

    The output of the program is "Able was I ere I saw elbA". Now those of you who didn't grab it before the site got slashdotted have no reason to whine.

  • by rde ( 17364 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:24PM (#590722)
    Call Darth Vader a gay sadomasochist in a comment and you get nailed as a Troll.
    Call Darth Vader a gay sadomasochist on a web page and you get a story on slashdot

    This sort of 'ironicly pointing out slashdot's shocking hyprocisy' comment is becoming more and more popular. Normally I ignore them as the work of the foolish, but every once and a while something comes along that's truly inane and I feel the urge to respond. So here we go...

    I've had some of my most insightful comments (IMO, natch) marked down as trolls. Some of my trolls were marked up. Such is life in an imperfect universe. Moderators will have differing opinions, as will slashdot readers. Deal with it.

    You really don't see any difference between a one-line 'Darth Vader is a Gay Sadomasochist' posted on a discussion about bandwidth and a web page - replete with (pretty crappy, but who cares) artwork - dedicated to brightening the lives of the few who find it? Make no mistake; the only reason people find pages like that is because they were sent the url. It's not the sort of thing you come across accidentally[1].
    [1]Obviously, if you're going to ask jeeves where you can find gay, sadomasochistic lords of the sith then you might.

  • by Calle Ballz ( 238584 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:35PM (#590723) Homepage
    I used to take apart all sorts of computer parts that weren't supposed to be taken apart in highschool. I would also try to find the most creative way to destroy computer components that didn't work that great anymore. A few of the ways I wasted time in class were:

    Using a hard drive while it is open (only lasts about 15-20 minutes)

    Crossing 120 volts to various leads on the motherboard and watch what parts in between start smoking

    Using about 12 different scan disk programs on an older 386 and see how long the drive lasts

    Hotswapping everything.....

    I probably had way too much time on my hands, but I got an A in that class.
  • by Beowulf_Boy ( 239340 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:42PM (#590724)
    you can download the original Unix right before the BSD split right here
    sorry I don't know html, or I'd dress it up for ya as a nice happy link

    at that site you can also download

    linux .14 & .99
    ICQ .99
    Windows 1-3
    Dos 3-6.22
    NT 3.10
    OS/2 1.00

    And all other kinds of nifty stuff
    aswell as a wealth of old games
  • by Lazarus Short ( 248042 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:17PM (#590725) Homepage
    What if I own a business that's losing money? Will they pay me to speed?

  • by jbuhler ( 489 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @04:33PM (#590726) Homepage
    (Disclaimer: IANAL)

    Well, according to the old law codes in England, Denmark, etc, I believe this is exactly how the law worked. If you killed someone, even if it was ruled justifiable (ie he called you a wanker and you killed him in a fair duel), his family could still force you to pay his wergild (lit. "man-price"), which was supposed to compensate them for the income the deceased would have provided them.

    I believe there's an analogous concept today in English common law.
  • by JB ( 8504 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:06PM (#590727)
    Finland has it backwards. If you're rich, you should pay *less*, not more. I mean, the US has it down pat. If you're rich and famous, you can get away with robbing a bank (or murder). Meanwhile the less well-off have to struggle with ugly things like fairness and justice.

    You crazy Finns! Damn you ALLLL!

  • by bug_hunter ( 32923 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:45PM (#590728)
    In an attempt to achieve some fame and no fortune withg slashdot, my friend (with my graphics) made this game []

    It has software logos battle it out, and you can play on a slashdot map too
    After having no story about it he was convinced he'd get in on quickies.
    So atleast my post here makes his wish half true in a rather sad kinda way.

  • by Pxtl ( 151020 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:19PM (#590729) Homepage
    I read that gay Vader thing.... it was just bad. I'm sorry, but it was. Don't bother.
  • by Chacham ( 981 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:08PM (#590730) Homepage Journal

    Sheesh, talk about punative damages. Imagine if your stock falls between the time they evaluate you at the time you pay. Maybe that's why Linux is so safe, Bill Gates wouldn't dare go to Finland.

  • by Shoeboy ( 16224 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:06PM (#590731) Homepage
    No, it hasn't inspired me to make "nerf on or fuck off" my signature, nor has it inspired me to write one huge, rambling, incoherent, 5 page paragraph.
    It has inspired me to get rich!
    You see if adults like childrens guns, then it would seem logical that children would like adult guns.
    I'm going to make a fortune.
    Now I'm off to the local high school to sell my gun collection to disaffected video gamers.
    Wish me luck!
  • by Manaz ( 46799 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:20PM (#590732) Homepage
    Following standard operating procedure, Optimum field staff resolved the issue as quickly as possible..."

    What IS the standard operating procedure when a fibre cable is severed by a bullet?

    I can just see it now - a black van pulls up at the Optimum Online office, the side door slides open, and several black-clad men jump out, and do what? Take cover, and start returning fire?
  • by ostiguy ( 63618 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:32PM (#590733)
    Should it work the same way for liability? If your tottering grandmother runs over a millionaire, should she be fined 500,000 to make restitution for the victim's family, so they can maintain their standard of living?

  • by TheKodiak ( 79167 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:17PM (#590734) Homepage []

    Should really be fucking credited to Brian Westley. Pisses me off.
  • by tshak ( 173364 ) on Thursday November 30, 2000 @03:18PM (#590735) Homepage
    There are many that are for a "flat" tax and our current "flat" fine system. Unfortunatly, flat mean regressive. What a progressive tax and fine system does is make the actual cost incurred by the person equal across economic classes.

    A fine is designed to cost someone a certain amount in an effort to deter them from a violation. If I make $25K/year (net), and get a $250 speeding ticket, that just cost me 1% of my annual income. Better yet, subtract a reasonable cost of living for my region and marital/child status, and you've just fined me a large chunk of my available cash. If I make $250K/year (net) and that just cost me 1/10th of a percent of my income. The individual making the lower amount actually pays a higher fine - as a person it bears more of a financial burden. Therefore the richer are pretty much unaffected and the fine is simply a "flesh wound" where the lower classes get thier arms chopped off (oh, wait, that's also simply a flesh wound).

"Yeah, but you're taking the universe out of context."