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Slashback: Hoaxery, New Math, Gestures 98

Updates and revisions for you on various and sundry stories you've seen here recently, from Parrot to Linux on handhelds to the recent judgement against MP3.com and more. Read on below to find them.

At least the jurors don't get to set the value of Pi. openbear writes: "According to a story at c|net the jurors meant for MP3.com to pay $3 million and not $300,000 in the court decision made last week. This may sound bad for MP3.com, but considering that TVT was originally going for $8.5 million I suppose that $3 million still looks like a good ruling. Espically since they have $42.9 million set aside for damage awards in pending suits."

(Here are some other articles about MP3.com as well.)

Parroting the (ORA, ActiveState, etc.) company line: rjoseph writes: "Perl.com's managing editor Simon Cozens has written a quick article on O'Reilly.com that explains the April Fools joke of the faked colaboration between Perl and Python to produce Parrot. He explains how the most interesting aspect about the whole affair is the fact that, to pull it off succesfully, the Perl and Python communities had to work together more than they had in a long time!"

Humor may suffer from analysis, but this is a cool explanation of what it took to pull off what turned out to be probably the most convincing Fool of the year, at least for those in the very small Venn diagram with the background and motivation to care about open-source programming languages and their creators;) Of course, now no one will believe it when the two do actually merge. (For a while I thought that the talk of "Python 3000" was a joke, too.)

Small steps on tiny machines n7lyg writes: "IEEE Computer has an article this month about a prototype PDA developed at Compaq's Western Research Labs: Itsy: Stretching the Bounds of Mobile Computing. Itsy has been through two implementations and has several unique features, including using MEMS accelerometers to implement a gesture interface (Rock'n'Scroll). This is all just research, but it does show promise for Linux-based PDA's. Itsy runs the X Window System and Qt Palmtop. The WRL website for Itsy is here."

This is really cool background material; now the earlier Itsy work has led to Linux on the iPAQ, I wish Compaq would actually sell a PDA with the size and shape of the Itsy itself. And tiny accelerometers for gesture-control would be welcome on my visor as well, and surely for small video game systems.

Big Blue, Big Blue, your transmission is fading, please say again, over. An Onymous Coward writes: "This sucks. At LWCE there was a big display at the KDE booth using ViaVoice to control KDE apps through Qt. Now it looks like the project is dead in the water, according to this article at Newsforge -- maybe lack of interest from IBM?"

What with the billion dollars that IBM has pledged to spend on Linux-related projects, and the fact that ViaVoice has shipped for a while with the high-end boxed version of Mandrake, hopefully this is just an oversight. ViaVoice is a cool technology -- but if things don't work out between Qt and IBM, perhaps KDE (and GNOME, and others, level playing field here!) can work on integration with Sphinx. An Apache-style license should be all-around friendly, right?

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    oh shit my boss is coming

    Pervert.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    FOOL! The value of pi is 3!

    The value of 3! is 6.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    The education of my children starts at home.
    The education of my children ends at home.
    The responsibility to see that my children are educated is mine, and my wife's alone.
    We support the teachers at school, as they are helping us to educate our children.
    Where the classes are lacking in material content at school, we suppliment.
    A sub-optimal instructor at a school simply means more work is required on my part.

    When your kids come out of school, completly unprepaired to go to college, or even unable to read, or find their home country on a globe, don't you dare blame the schools. The job of educating your children is yours. If you are unwilling to take on that responsibility, don't have kids.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @03:05PM (#297568)
    It's kinda sad that the best april fools joke (Parrot) was ruined by too many stupid april fools jokes on slashdot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @03:07PM (#297569)
    How come I don't see any slashback about this:

    http://www.itworld.com/Comp/2384/LWD010410maccomme nts/

    You know, Linus Torvalds said April 8 that reports of him trashing the new Mac OS X are simply misquotes, as he has "never commented on OS X."

    But, this is slashdot. Suggest that something said about THE CREATOR was wrong? *gasp*

  • I'm so tired of getting really worked up about the Itsy here on /. only to discover that they're STILL NOT MAKING IT AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC!

    CRAP!

    The picture at the bottom of this page is PURE SEX!! How come us mortals aren't allowed to have any of that?!!! FUKC~!!

    http://computer.org/computer/homepage/april/comp _p ract/cp3.htm

    Anyway, sorry about that. I just really, really, really want my own Itsy.
  • Ampcast.com have been making changes as well- they got flooded with new artist signups after some recent unpleasant changes at mp3.com, and ad banners are NOT what they used to be. Ampcast's response (unlike mp3c) was not to seize more artist rights through contract changes- instead, the agreement is still very good but you _pay_ web hosting to have stuff up on Ampcast now.

    The cost is $25 a year (not month, year- about $2 a month), so I would have to resoundingly agree that it must be cheaper to buy all that disk storage than to dicker with the major labels :D

    Ampcast is also sticking with their 'six cent payment to artists per download' though some of the artists actually would like Ampcast to drop that as well and just focus on stuff like the CD program they're coming out with (on the assumption that since nobody pays to download mp3s, getting paid for such downloads is stupid and liable to hurt the music service provider in the long run). However, there's a twist- Ampcast streaming has never paid a royalty, just the downloads- and with the CD program, artists will be sorta encouraged to make tracks 'streaming only'. All real geeks know this is meaningless- read an m3u file lately? ;) but it would certainly be meaningful in the sense of not having to cost Ampcast six cents a download.

    I'm told BeSonic is delivering a new option to insist that page visitors pay to download files- I host on BeSonic at the moment but wasn't aware of this because naturally I consider the idea extremely silly :)

    More on mp3.com- they have polarized their artist base (probably still the largest collection of artists in the industry- and the most spotty in quality) by establishing a Premium Artist program- in order to qualify for being paid anything, you pay them $20 a month (_not_ year). They have also started something called 'Back The Band': effectively, it is an auction for graffiti space on artist's band pages. If you bid highest and pay with your credit card, you can write "This band sucks!" on anyone's page if they are not Madonna. You can also write they LOVE your music and link to your own page- all they can do about such lies is outbid you or complain to management. Management prioritises paying artists more and causes 'free' artists to wait weeks for any response. The money from Back The Band is split- half goes to mp3.com and half goes to the artist whose page you deface. In theory it's for writing nice comments, but that illusion was very quickly dispelled when it went into action. Finally, mp3.com has expanded the class of music content to which it grabs perpetual rights- and subtly altered their contract to permit them to make changes and edit your actual music if they choose. This clears the way for 'Back The Tune', so that in future, you may get 50% of the money someone pays when they bid for the chance to place an audio clip of a fart onto the official mp3.com DAM CD of your album, or a commercial for them! It all makes a twisted kind of sense.

    Any other status reports from music service provider customers?

  • Only 20,000? I guess the rest all went off to Napster when my.mp3 first had to shut down. I signed up with my.mp3 fairly early and have been using it since it came back online. I still have most (88) of my beamed albums listed (tho' I'm pretty pissed they just had to take the Judgement Night soundtrack off for licensing reasons). I haven't tried to add more since they came back because I feared some fuck-up would cause me to lose some or all of the ones I listen to now.

    I think $50/year is pretty good for the service they provide but I'm not ready to pay yet. I'm afraid they won't last until the end of the year and frankly I don't have that many new albums to add anyway. When I first signed up I spent an evening beaming my cds. I guess about 75% of my collection was in their collection. Of course some of the best stuff is in the 25% and maybe 5 of the cds were not from a significant label. Even if their batting average hasn't improved I'd pay if I could have some assurance about their survival.
  • I don't use a service like myplay because I don't want to dribble tracks into it, I want whole albums but the sites don't want to make it easy to upload tracks en masse. If I could rip my CDs and send them straight to a server I'd do it and pay for it. I'm not sure how much I'd be willing to pay but having server development and maintenance, bandwidth costs and data integrity someone else's problem is definitely worth at least the $50/year my.mp3 costs.

    I'm also irritated by the waste of the locker systems. You know that lots and lots of tracks are duplicated in lots and lots of lockers. Those services should be able to eliminate that redundancy (with customer approval of course).

    What would be really great would be to have a combination system where you wouldn't have to waste time and bandwidth ripping tracks already in the site's database, like my.mp3 beaming, but could also augment it with the stuff you rip because they don't have it in their database.

    I think Vorbis is a good thing but to say that your files in are in that format is "best of all" seems pretty weird. Wouldn't you say being able to listen to good music from where ever or being able listen to a mix of only things you like are more important than the file format? If not, if using a Free file format is "best" maybe you're brainwashed by RMS.
  • A friend of mine (Who was ABD in Math) once told me he knew a High School Math teacher who for years had been telling her class that pi was 22/7. Didn't know it was irrational never mind transendental.

    The mind boggles.
  • ViaVoice outload is the clearest text to speech I have ever herd. This includes the expensive ( >$800 ) JAWS for Windows [hj.com]

    The problem is that what this project really needs to work is for VV bindings in QT and KDE to be a simple compile time option. However VV is proprietary and unlike the situation with QT a few years ago we can't see the source code.

    Sure, it's documented well enough that they got it to work. The problem is what happens when IBM comes up with a pricing method and distribution restrictions for this thing.

    I and others have been nagging IBM to release the source code for this thing under a free license but they won't budge. The KDE team will not take the flack they suffered over QT again. Especially not for IBM because frankly YOU CAN'T TRUST IBM. We can work with them on our terms however but this kind of thing is a nono.

    In the mean time blind people are being forced to use second rate operating systems [microsoft.com].

    Yes. It is plain to see. good voice synthesis is extremely hard as programing jobs go. It would be nice if IBM helped us out here. This doesn't mean the wheel won't be reinvented to get around this however.

    -- Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur. Whatever is said in Latin sounds profound.

  • I'm so tired of getting really worked up about the Itsy here on /. only to discover that they're STILL NOT MAKING IT AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC!

    I used one at a Usenix wrap party, or maybe one of the other parties that happen at Usenix. It was fast enough (it wasn't lightning fast though). The display was nice enough. The rock n' scroll was very cool. But it was heavy. For a PDA not noticeably larger then a Palm Pilot it felt like it was at least four times as heavy. It would never ever be comfortable in a shirt pocket. It wouldn't even be as unobtrusive in pants pocket. I wouldn't use it as a PDA just because I wouldn't carry it around.

    Of corse if you were to spin a new design of it it couldn't help but get lighter...

  • It's because more educated people tend to be leftists. Or, a corollary, not all Republicans are stupid people, but most stupid people are Republican...

    It's probably the same all over the world. Conservatism, national pride/security/... (as an excuse for anything), fear of change/difference and scapegoating is understood by the dumbest of people, it's all so simple.

    Just look at the cheap newspapers targetted at the masses. These are conservative and opportunistic, the uneducated masses read it and feel that they are understood. Credibility or multiple sources of information mean nothing to them.

    A high quality of education is important for society as a whole, but some mainstream political parties conveniently ignore that.

  • Meanwhile.... I use myplay.com and I can have all the best tracks from my favourite albums in my locker. Since I'm doing the ripping/uploading I can even stick stuff in there I've recorded off the radio.

    Bast of all though - I can put all my stuff in my locker in Vorbis format.

    I'm sorry - you sound like you've been brainwashed by mp3.com
  • by szyzyg ( 7313 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @03:40PM (#297579)
    They've got less than 20,000 active users for their my.mp3.com service, and the number of *paying* users is a hall of a lot less. Supposedly they had 500,000 sign ups initially, but everyone stopped using it after they encoutnered the licensing problems.

    Considering they spent >100 million on the licenses for beam-it that works out at $5,000 per user.

    Meanwhile, Musicbank Just closed its Doors today, another company that licensed stuff from the music business. These guys Never got round to Launching a product though.

    Which leaves myplay.com as the only music service provider looking healthy, it must be cheaper to buy all that disk storage than it is to pay those label licenses.....
  • The ViaVoice SDK and runtimes are still available for free [ibm.com], so if you don't like it, fix it.

    -
  • It wouldn't even be as unobtrusive in pants pocket.

    "I hear you've got an Itsy in your pocket."


  • http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=fptalk [slashdot.org]

    [slashdot.org]
  • In pure mathematics, significant digits are not relevant? Pure math, 1 = 1.0 = 1.000000000000 = 1.00000... It's not relevant to your math class. What class was it, anyway? What 'upper-level' math class teaches trig? That's highschool...

    Significant digits come into play when doing real-world calculations/measurements so as not to introduce useless error, or not to provide an apparently 'highly accurate' answer when in fact, everything past the first 2 digits is totally meaningless.

  • Sorry, that's wrong. So are at least some of the other so-called laws there. For example, the one that says "A man over the age of 18 may be arrested for statutory rape if the passenger in his car is not wearing her socks and shoes, and is under the age of 17" makes no sense when you consider that the age of consent in Indiana is 16 (or 14 if both parties are under 18) even if you don't bother to actually go look it up. (The full text of any Indiana law can be found here [state.in.us] )

    The truth behind the pi thing is that it would not have set the value of pi to 4, or even to 3 as most accounts would have it. It would have set it to a value that was to be determined by a process that was so weird that nobody but its creator has ever figured out what it was supposed to mean. In addition, the law was never passed, so it could hardly have been "repealed" as stated on the page you linked to. A mathematician from Purdue was in the gallery while the Senate was debating it and he set them straight. This information is from the fine book A History of Pi [amazon.com] by Petr Beckmann, which includes a copy of the actual text of the bill and more info on the nutjob who came up with it.

  • I used my.mp3.com for a bit, and then bought my own server to do a much better job. I get a better selection now.

    I really recommend 'edna' over at freshmeat, it streams mp3s into winamp (or whatever), generating playlists from directories full of mp3s. As far as I can tell its the only one that doesn't need an SQL database.
  • High school science teacher asked us what was the nearest star. We said the sun. Teacher said the sun wasn't a star.

    Still, her lack of science knowledge was offset by the fact she was young, blonde, slim and good looking. I thought it was a pretty good tradeoff at the time.
  • Damn, I was looking forward to this. I hope it goes through.

    --
    Charles E. Hill
  • Was this not their first clue that SOMETHING was awry? Perhaps a little pre-service exam would be usefull...

    [ ] Check this box if you are an idiot, please.


    Hey, if it's not required to vote in presidential elections...
  • In responce to point B, you obviously dont know much about school districts. In my hometown (~250,000 people, central california) there were 3 school districts. 15 minutes south there were another 2. half an hour to the north there were at least 7. This being california a drive of 30 minutes is almost nothing for a commute:P
    Hell, over summer i had an IT job were i would commute ~40miles, in 2 hours 3 days a week . . .

    journey-
  • Hell, my 9th grade science teacher thought that exothermic meant cold and endothermic meant hot. According to her, this was because an exothermic reaction had already given off all its heat, leaving only cold (or some such bullshit). We were eventually tested over this, and the grades were absolutely horrible because of it. When people said she was wrong and referred her to the book, they got sent to the office for being offensive to her and subsequently got suspended. That's what you get when you hire people with degrees in teaching rather than degrees in _what_ they're teaching.
    --
  • OK, this might be the only time I bring up a grammar/spelling Nazi point; it's "caliber", not "caliper". Whether or not one agrees with your reasoning on teacher quality, you can't deny the results ;-)

    I had a high school chemistry teacher who was so bad at the subject that after a decade of teaching it, he could barely do the problems. For that reason, he would use the same problems, using the exact same numbers, over and over again. When it came to the final exam, I got 80% of the answers from memory, without even having to do simple multiplication.

    But that didn't stop him from getting it wrong all the time anyway. I used to correct him, not because I was being a smartass, but because I thought it was unfair that kids who were trying really hard were getting screwed that way. On at least on occasion, I had to read the formulas from the textbook back to him to convince anyone. Anyway, it must have made some kind of impression on him, because two years later my younger brother did the same thing; he would stutter and call him by *my* name.

    The thing was, I saw cars that he restored and even rode in them. He was a very talented mechanic, just a shitty high school chemistry teacher.

    I used to think "that's just the way it is" until I got to college and realized that I was hopelessly behind kids who had real educations at private high schools - in subjects I would have been *very* good at. You just can't make it all up in college, not if you really want to excel. It's like asking a rising tennis star to take 4 years off for college; by the time they get back into it, it's too late to be the best.

    BTW, high pay tends to preclude the formation of unions.

    Boss of nothin. Big deal.
    Son, go get daddy's hard plastic eyes.

  • Glove type input devices never caught on because they were never meant to be used when you could still see your hand - they were meant to be used when wearing an HMD for immersive work, when one would normally be moving most of the body anyway.

    The problem was the same as using a mouse for drawing on the screen - can it be done? Yes. Is it the optimal tool? No.

    Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!
  • Silly math teacher. Everybody knows that pi is really 355/113.

    <P>At least, that's what it was before FORTRAN did floating point.
  • Mine was:

    Teacher,"There are three states of matter."

    Me,"What? I thought there were four. Solid, liquid, gas, plasma."

    Teacher, "Plasma?"

    Me, "Yeah, you know, like the sun."

    Teacher, blank stare.

    Me, "Right, three states of matter. Please continue."
  • Yeah, point B is pretty weak. I guess the point is, it's possibly slightly more difficult for a teacher to just switch jobs than other folks. In California it might not be a big deal at all, but I bet it gets a lot harder the more rural you go. And thus, the protection afforded by a union against wack-ass school board members becomes more important. Pure speculation on my part, and really, not much of one.
  • If I were truly qualified and felt the desire to teach, would I want to be part of a union? I say probably, yeah. Too much politics in teaching. I'd want to know that if I say something in class that Timmy's dad doesn't like, and Timmy's dad's pastor's friend sits on the school board, that I'm not going to get arbitrarily fired.

    No doubt, there are negatives to being in a union, too, and unions cause bad things to happen. But the plus side is a certain level of protection against wanton tomfoolery. From my outsider's point of view, things seems pretty balanced the way they are. Realistically, there's no way schools are going to be able to pay a high enough salary to attract the best and brightest people to teaching public school. We're lucky to get what good ones turn up now, and in my experience the only way teachers get paid a halfway attractive wage as it is is due to the union.

    But... it sounds like you have some kind of idea how more qualified people would be attracted to teaching if there weren't a union?
  • Who decides who's got the Gift?

    Are there objective standards to define this power?
  • Well, that's all good for you, but how does that help us?
  • Fair enough about the Venn diagram. Sure, there are some wack-ass things going on in education today. I don't approve of the self-esteem building at any cost, either. Realistically, I doubt many people do. Interestingly, the worst thing happening in education today, according to my teacher friend, is the all-encompassing drive towards standardized testing. My friend reports that he has zero oppportunity to do anything creative or interesting or different in the classroom, because all of his time is rigidly scheduled to meet the demands of standardized tests. He feels like his hands are tied and there's nothing he can do about it. It's a shame because I've seen him teach outside of public school, and he's a grandmaster... he's got real potential to be a great educator, but I don't know if he'll stick with it. I can't blame him. I don't know whose fault it is, but it blows.

    However, I don't have any idea what you're talking about when you suggest that people who don't like Dodgeball or Red Rover are wacked. I seem to recall those games SUCKED ASS, and taught no redeeming skills of any kind, and merely encouraged children to be violent and mean-spirited. Good fucking riddance. Not to point any fingers, but in this day and age you would have to be one sadistic bastard to want your kids playing those games... or someone who just hasn't considered it very carefully.

  • Make assumptions all you want, but personally, most Republicans I know are poor or middle-class, not evil, and just stupid. The Democrats are poor or middle-class, misguided, ineffectual and dumb.

    Politically speaking. Most all of them are quite nice people, though.

    I'm not sure I have a beef with education having the lowest requirements, though. Maybe that's bad, but on the other hand, some program has to have the lowest requirements, and I'd rather it not be, say, Civil Engineering. Or CS. Those who can, do, those who can't, teach... and so what? I doubt the bell curve of bad teachers to good teachers has substantially changed shape in, oh, ever. And bad teachers are like bad cops - every profession's got bad apples, but authoritative positions like these tend to distort the relative weights, I think... e.g., you might meet 50 teachers who are perfectly acceptable, but those 2 assholes stand out way more in your mind.

    But anyway, I do agree that we should be trying to attract a higher caliber of teacher. Why wouldn't we want that? Pay, benefits and prestige sound like good ways to do that to me... which brings me back to my original point, which was, the teacher's union is the only reason why teachers have as much of those things as they do now. And so far, I haven't seen anyone who hates the teacher's union propose a better system for propping up teacher's pay, benefits, and prestige (or any other method for attracting better people)... but I'd like to hear it. Really.
  • Uhhhh... OK, we can agree to remove the Christian Coalition strawman. No problem. How about we replace it with "right-wing Republican fuckheads"? That is a more accurate, albeit inflammatory, description of my target demographic. The Christian Coalition is convenient, however, in that they have attempted to be a highly-organized flock of fuckheads, instead of the usual irregular fuckheads... and thus is a more concise target. But whatever, man, I'm not gonna argue semantics.

    By the way, you know why leftists have had a "stranglehold" in education? It's because more educated people tend to be leftists. Or, a corollary, not all Republicans are stupid people, but most stupid people are Republican... which, while I may not be able to quote you a statistic, or a reference, or a strawman blahblahblah, is the single truest thing I have ever heard in my life. Might as well be carved in granite and handed down from Mt. Sinai, far as I'm concerned. So that's where I'm coming from.

    And as far as the NEA buying elections, well, that's just funny. Tell me, what evils have befallen the Republic due to the wily and pervasive influence of the NEA? The Trial Lawyers Association, OK, offhand, that's a pretty believable scapegoat, but the NEA... please. I could be quite mistaken about that, granted; I haven't been keeping up with The Limbaugh Letter much these days, so no doubt I'm woefully underinformed and could use a little education...

  • by GooseKirk ( 60689 ) <{goosekirk} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @05:51PM (#297602) Homepage
    Beats me if unions are good or bad in the case of teachers, but my counterpoint to yours would be this:

    A) Teaching is a very, very political profession. School board elections are notorious for being low-turnout, low-interest. It makes it relatively simple for right-wing wack jobs to get into office (this is/was, in fact, a Christian Coalition political tactic, to "infiltrate" these low-level elected positions and build from there). Once they're in office they could, if not for the teachers unions, do pretty much whatever they like. The union is the most effective tool the teachers have to exert influence back up the chain of command.

    B) It's not like teachers can just go get another job. Think about it... if you're a teacher and you get into a scrape with the school officials, where do you go? How many other school districts might there be within a commuting distance? Pretty much, you have to sell your house and move. OK, so that's not so bad, it's a small point, but:

    C) At least where I grew up, teaching was a motherfuckin' thankless job. All anyone in my town could do was bitch and piss and moan about how "rich" the teachers were, and how they had it made, and they don't even work all year! If not for the union, the people of my town would've only elected school board members who promised to cut teacher's pay to $12,000/year or something. Now, you think teachers are stupid now - and brother, I hear you and agree - try paying them poverty level wages and see what shakes out of the gene pool.

    Thankfully, I live in a place where education is given priority... but you better believe there are vast freakin' swaths of this country where people would LOVE to see teachers get paid minimum wage... and five'll get ya ten, they're the same right-wing wackos who'll grassroots themselves a Christian Coalition school board.

    So... the unions maybe do suck and let bad teachers stay in positions where they don't belong, but on the other hand, maybe they do help good teachers stay in bad places. There's always bad employees in any organization... maybe there'd be fewer bad teachers without the unions, and maybe there'd be fewer good teachers, too.

    Pure speculation on my part, just based on my experiences...
  • by bfields ( 66644 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @07:56PM (#297603) Homepage
    The job is easy

    Oh man, you have never taught. Granted, there's teachers that are flakes, but there's lots that aren't, too, and to be even a barely competent teacher, you have to:

    • Prepare lectures, classroom activities, homework assignments, etc.
    • Deal with all the logistics of keeping track of all your students' papers, grades, problems, etc.
    • Grade (oh, the agony)
    • A gazillion other things I've forgotten
    • Oh yeah, and you also have to stand up in front of the class each day, give lectures, help students with class activities, enforce discipline, etc. This is the only part most people see, so they tend to forget the other stuff, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    Doing this well, heck, even doing it passably, is really, really hard. It's such an important job that lots of people are willing to do it despite the fact that it's such hard work for (usually) such low pay. And there are rewards, for example when you get to see someone learn a difficult new idea. But don't ever say it's easy till you've spent a year or two trying it. You've got no idea.

    --Bruce Fields

  • Business will ALWAYS take advantage of uneducated workers, and that is why we have unions.

    The point is that teachers shouldn't be uneducated workers.

    Would qualified individuals want to be in a union? Not likely.

    Would the teacher's union support the replacement of the current work force (from which they gain power) with qualified individuals? Not likely.

    Could the government effectively fight the teacher's union? Not likely.
  • by skware ( 78429 )
    is not:
    3.141592653589793238462650133 it is closer to:
    3.141592653589793238462643383279502884
    note the discrepency in the last 5 digits of your post?
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel ( 80510 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @08:02PM (#297606)
    This is exactly as the RIAA member companies planned. It has been pretty clear to both internet gurus and music insiders that the big record labels only make their money because they have a stranglehold on the distribution of the vast majority of music. All internet music delivery systems threaten the big record labels' big profits, not to mention their entire existence.

    So, as mp3.com claimed during their trial, the record companies have been using the monopoly power granted by US copyright law, to stifle competition. Ultimately, real change won't happen until a new generation of executives comes to power in the big media corporations, people who aren't knee-jerk afraid of new distribution methods. That's probably around 10 years away, which, as a shareholder of mp3.com, really bums me out.
  • by Amokscience ( 86909 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @03:13PM (#297607) Homepage
    The very first post on Slashdot set the tone for all of April Fool's. LZip with compression down to %0 of the file size. That ruined any possibility of anything being taken seriously. The ensuing crap that followed didn't help either. I would have thought that intelligent people could have had better execution than on the site that pathetic day.
  • Was that joke about Tim Berners-Lee and some MIT guy creating a new scripting language (like we need another) called CURL except they want to charge people up the ass to use it....haahahhahahha. Yeah right....oh wait......
  • SetVal Joel = Good
    SetVal Mike = JoelVal/2
    SetVal Crow = Good
    SetVal Perl = Good
    SetVal Pearl Forrester = Very Very Bad
    Exe Skit
    END

  • On a related note, I had a geometry teacher in high school that didn't know that +x is right and +y is up in a Cartesian coordinate system. If I remember correctly, the people who "learned" Cartesian geometry from her got it wrong on the test. She wasn't a new teacher either.




    Dracos
  • I'll assume that's a troll and start by noting that you should have made it less obviously silly.

    But of course, you could be serious. In which case I have this to say to you. The jury system is a beautiful concept and one to defend. The jury selection system as it stands in the United States is guaranteed to select those people with huge amounts of free time and not enough wits to get out of it. Some of us have to actually make a living, something the law does not help because it does not require that jurors be paid a salary equivalent to their normal work pay.
  • One of my science teachers (who was also the home economics teacher) Told our class during the discussion of the Kelvin scale and Absolute Zero that it was
    -2000oC on Pluto!
  • Did the parrot project decide to use the Penis Bird as their logo?
  • [ ] Check this box if you are an idiot, please

    My impression was that the lawyers don't want people with critical thinking skills on the jury. They might decide the outcome based on facts.

    If so, then this one question would be all you need to qualify.
  • Business will ALWAYS take advantage of uneducated workers, and that is why we have unions

    Maybe that's also why we have teachers unions. So that business can continue to have a steady supply of uneducated workers.

    If its good for business, it must be good for the country.

    Also, don't unions take advantage of uneducated workers?
  • Answers for the tests were fine as long as the reasoning was sound and the result was within one or two factors of ten of the one he had in mind.

    Perhaps you mean... as long as the reasoning sounded plausible....
  • They can't say it isnt

    Yes they can. They can say anything they want. So can the lawyers.

    They could even say that their original intent was not for the service to be used the way it is today -- for the illegal trade in copyrighted material.

    How could you proove that such a statement is untrue?

    Now, you and I might find such a story unlikely or we might not believe it. But that's a different thing than what they could plausibly say.
  • It seems to me as if IBMs involvement with the KDE is more harmful than good at this point.

    Okay. So does this mean that IBM should get involved with a competing project instead of KDE?
  • In the heyday of VR, I tried about six of the major gloves-and-goggles VR systems, including Jaron Lanier's original prototype. They all sucked as a way of actually doing anything. Looking around was kind of fun (although if there's any visible lag, a VR helmet is a giant pain.)

    Autodesk put considerable work into VR, imagining designers with gloves and goggles putting together machines and buildings. The result was less usable than mouse and keyboard. Flythrough is great, but that's about all.

  • by Animats ( 122034 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @07:26PM (#297620) Homepage
    The GyroMouse [zdnet.co.uk] has been around for years.

    Basic problem: pointing in free space is not a good way to do input. It gets tiring fast, and it's not very accurate. This is partly why glove-type input devices never caught on. The GyroMouse people have found a niche market as a mouse replacement for people giving PowerPoint presentations, but that's about as useful as it gets.

  • Compaq actually gives the information needed, so that you can build your own Itsy [compaq.com]. Maybe a group of Linux hackers could put together a site that would take orders for the Itsies, and once they reached enough requests, they could start building them and selling them to those who placed an order (and put down a deposit).

    Anyway, I am sure some of the more hardware skilled peeps that read slashdot could put together an Itsy, if they had the resources.
  • Cartesian coordinates are defined whatever you like, as long as it is on a flat Euclidean space and the +y/+x are orthogonal to each other by 90 degrees (not necessary true in an arbitrary geometry). For example, I can take +x to be up and +y to be right. (Or +x to be NE and +y to be SE etc..)

    Btw, is your teacher blond, slim, and good-looking too?
  • by HerrGlock ( 141750 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @03:42PM (#297623) Homepage
    and what did the guy behind the counter say? Did he try to talk you into keeping it?

    "Helloooo, Polly.." (whap, whap, whap)

    DanH
    Cav Pilot's Reference Page [cavalrypilot.com]
  • IIRC he was technically bitching about Mach, not OS X specifically. I don't know if that applies to OS X transitively; sounds like Linus is *saying* that it doesn't.

    /Brian
  • by AntiNorm ( 155641 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @04:43PM (#297625)
    At least the jurors don't get to set the value of Pi. openbear writes: "According to a story at c|net the jurors meant for MP3.com to pay $3 million and not $300,000 in the court decision made last week.

    In Indiana, there used to be a law setting pi equal to 4 instead of the more common value of 3.141592653589793238462650133. It was repealed, though. More info here [dumblaws.com].

    ---
    The AOL-Time Warner-Microsoft-Intel-CBS-ABC-NBC-Fox corporation:
  • that link broken for you?

    http://www.itworld.com/Comp/2384/LWD010410maccomme nts/ [itworld.com] should work.


    ---------------------------------

  • I think the problem with the teachers' unions lies in the oft-trumpeted idea that teaching is an "Art" or a "Gift"...but they then procede to implement Teachers' Education on the idea that anyone who is trained to teach, can teach anything.

    This is wrong, wrong, wrong! Some people who know their subjects well, have the 'gift' of teaching. Perhaps they should teach. But if people without the 'gift', or the knowledge of their subject matter are deemed as being able to teach because they have a degree in education...we have the source of our current predicament.

    Brad
  • ...errrr...a rant on the Christian Coalition kind of overlooks the stranglehold that leftists and whack-ass theorists have had over the educational establishment for many decades. Much of the reaction against the NEA comes from this, and is not limited to your straw-man Christian Coalition.

    Brad

    BTW-If you think only EVIL CORPORATIONS buy elections, check out the influence of the NEA. Not to mention the Trial Lawyers Association. Have we become a litigious society without a little push here and there?
  • LAST POST!

    A) Teacher tend to be leftists. B)Educated people tend to be leftists. You say A derives from B. Might it not be, to a certain extent, the other way around?

    As for evils befalling the Republic...well, they certainly aren't always successful in getting their candidates elected, so that's kind of a point, politically. But educationally, if you think that experiments in whole language reading, fun math, self-esteem building at any cost, and anti-competitiveness training haven't been harmful, you haven't had kids in public school.

    A case in point-the recent campaign against Dodge-ball...(not that I consider this an "evil befalling the Republic", just a small example of the mindset)
    I quote from yesterdays paper: (since the archival access fee for the SL Trib is $110)

    "...moves toward extinction of dodge ball have won praise from such grous as the Reston, Va.-based National Association for Sport and Physical Education and Concerned Adults & Students for Physical Education Reform in Chico, Calif.

    "NASPE has gone so far as to put dodge ball on its "Physical Education Hall of Shame"-along with such offenders ask kickball, Red Rover, Simon Says, tag and musical chairs."

    My point is that in a Venn diagram, the range of wack-ass fuckheads would not be limited to the subset "Republicans". Nor would the set of hateful, stereotyping, close-minded individuals. The kind of people who have it all figured out. The kind of people who say "See! It all fits together!"

    Not pointing any fingers. Really.

  • >>FOOL! The value of pi is 3!

    I remember my freshman physics class (for engineers) was taught by this crazy guy from Boston (whose first name was "Austin" and coincidentally taught at UT Austin). On the first day of class, he didn't say anything before he got up to write on the board:

    Pi = 3
    e = 3

    Pi = e

    It was his humorous way of knocking down the precision-loving engineering-types in our class. Answers for the tests were fine as long as the reasoning was sound and the result was within one or two factors of ten of the one he had in mind.

  • you're an engineer, arent you? work for nasa, maybe?

  • My current math teacher, who teaches upper level math such as calc, pre-calc and trig didn't know about significant digits. Say you had to have 3 significant digits, he thought that 003 was the correct answer and that 3.00 was wrong. There was an arguement about this in class and he went and talked to the physics teacher and eventually found out that he was completly wrong. Oh yeah btw it's not like this was his first year teaching, it's around his 15th - 20th and he just found out about sig figs just a few weeks ago.
  • Well said, but note that this only applies to a capitalist society.

    In a socialist or communist society the government is progressive and the newspapers for the masses reflect this progressive outlook. In most European countries the masses support progressive ideas because the progressive "elites" set the tone for these.

    As Marx said "the ruling opinions are the opinions of the ruling classes". Also the education is better in the European social-democracies and so the masses on average are more intelligent, which reflects in their support for progressive idea(l)s. Conservatives are actively looked down upon by the vast majority of Europeans.

    However in a reactionary country as the USA your observation is spot-on.

  • Request: if you put the word "New Math" in the title, could you please have a story that actually has something to do with mathematics.

    Y'all got my hopes up for nothing. *Sniff*.

    Steve

    --
    Stephen Forrest
    4N PM/CS, University of Waterloo

    "æs ofereode, isses swa mæg." - The Complaint of Deor

  • Mod this guy up! ;) cool links for macfans http://freehosting2.at.webjump.com/23065c49f/gi/gi rliemac-webjump/index.html http://www.fuckapple.org/ its not what you think!
  • by //violentmac ( 186176 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @03:39PM (#297636) Homepage
    Linuxtoday has Linus dispelling the flamewar zdnet tried to brew between our two camps. http://www.itworld.com/Comp/2384/LWD010410maccomme nts/

    Shame on slashback for not noticeing. I get my newz from www.macsurfer.com

    :)

  • Tee hee, that tickles!

    Hello, and welcome to the show.

  • How abd is your English teacher, sparky? Transendentally bbad?
  • How stoned were you when you wrote this?
  • Well... that's much better than the math teacher's approximation, which was only good to three significant digits. This one is good to six.

    Anyway, what do you expect? I forget the name of the book, but Thomas Sowell (a really smart professor-type from Yale) writes about secondary-school educators (and below) being absolutely the most stupid group of college-attending individuals. He's got test scores to prove it. I personally didn't learn much in high school that wasn't self-taught, and I had my fair share of bouts with moronic teachers.

    What you have to remember is that teaching is a low-paying profession. The job is easy, because (especially in elementary school) you can say anything and little children will believe it. There is no drive for excellence when the customer can't recognize it.

    Not to mention that teaching is a union-controlled industry, and as we've consistently seen in the past, unionized workers aren't of the highest caliper. Just think about it; unions are formed to protect employees from oppressive employers, poor working conditions and low wages, right? But a highly-skilled, competent worker is too valuable to be treated like shit, so he doesn't need a union to secure his job. Quite frankly, unions are only good for forcing people to hire idiots at overpriced wages. They're rather irresponsible about it, too... halting companies' functions by striking. If I ever own a unionized business, and they strike, I'm firing every last one of them and hiring a whole new crew. I don't care how much it costs; it's about principle here.

    Need a good example of excellence without unions? Look at Michael Jordan, forced member of the NBA Players' Union. He was the highest-paid athlete in the NBA (of any sport?), because he was such an outstanding player. Hell, he was THE reason I followed basketball from 1986-1998. You think his salary was so high because the union made it so? Not a chance. If the union were responsible, every player would make as much as Jordan. Jordan was paid so much because he was the basketball god, plain and simple.

    Compounding the teacher problem is the fact that it's so damn hard to fire a lousy one, it would be easier just to shut up and keep paying them. In effect, the unions have created a form of tenure, an absolute perversion of its university cousin.

    I remember one time, in sixth grade, my fresh-out-of-school science teacher telling the class that humans had 54 chromosomes. "46," I said. We argued for, oh, 15 minutes, until he conceded, appending a "whatever" to his admission of error. A 24-year-old kid passing of a 12-year-old kid as full of shit, when DAMNIT, I was right. That year was a good year... I got in many arguments with that guy. After the year was over, and I'm not kidding, he gave up science for sixth graders and taught third grade. There was that one time I slammed his door so hard in protest, people down the hall looked at me funny. I got sent to the Principal's Office (TM) for that one, but it was worth it. In the end, I won the argument (over the grade on a test) and got an "A". Heh. Fuck you, Mr. Lauer!

    A new year calls for a new signature.

  • Good point, it is indeed "caliber."

    The error was not a grammatical or spelling mistake, however. Nor was it the product of poor teachers... as I said, I learned very little in high school.

    The problem was that I was studying (or rather worrying) about an exam I had to take the next morning, covering such things as Lebesgue integration and Fourier series.

    Compound the fact that I am not held accountable for anything I say here, and what you have is a classic case of talking out of my ass... I put very little thought into posting on slashdot.

    Take it from me... when you're concerned about whether a function is integrable if its generating function has a limit, the significance of "caliber vs. caliper" goes to zero very rapidly.

    I assure you, if I had to think about the things I post on slashdot, I would never submit anything. The reason I post things is to vent, not to spout streams of wisdom.

    But thanks for the correction... the distinction has been noted, and would have been noted before posting time if the forum were more serious.

    A new year calls for a new signature.

  • You're wrong. MJ got paid what he did because he made the Bulls richer than their wildest dreams. True, all players' salaries increased because of unions--that is what unions try to do. My point is that MJ made enormously more money than any NBA player had ever seen, current or past. If his money came from a union, it would have been an amount similar to other players.

    The Bulls paid Jordan so much because they knew that without him, ticket sales would approach zero and the United Center would go empty. Keeping Jordan happy was important not because it kept the union from getting pissed off, but because if Jordan got pissed and left, the Bulls went back to the poorhouse. I forget the figures, but I'm certain Jordan increased the value of the Bulls franchise more than tenfold.

    This is also why the Bulls put up with Pippen and Jackson for so long. It is well known that Jackson and Pippen had severe disagreements with Bulls management. Hell, the Bulls hired a replacement coach without bothering to tell Jackson. But Jordan told the Bulls to fuck off, that he'd walk if Jackson didn't coach. So what happened? Jackson's replacement got some phony title like "VP of Basketball Operations" and Jackson remained coach.

    Jordan wasn't treated like a king because unions made it so. Jordan was treated like a king because the Bulls wanted Jordan to stay happy. No matter what they paid him, he was worth more in terms of ticket and merchandise revenue. Plus, you can't forget the prestige factor... how cool would it be to say you've got the best player in the NBA?

    A new year calls for a new signature.

  • Teachers are not educated people. Cf. my last few posts on this thread. Teachers tend to be the dumbest of the flock. Therefore (A) and (B) have nothing to do with each other.

    Let me tell you how the political lines typically divde:

    • Low-income people (typically uneducated) tend to be liberal, because it is that orientation that gets them more tax dollars and an easier life.
    • Ultra-rich non-businessmen tend to be liberal because they have money to throw at social programs. Throwing money around helps ease any guilty conscience and promote ego. However, it should be noted that ultra-rich people have the resources to hide their money from government programs in a legal manner, and so this liberalism is really double-talk... the rich keep as much money as they can.
    • Upper-middle-class highly-educated people ($100k-$500k, where my family lies) tend to be conservative, because it is we who are hurt most by social programs. A rich man can afford to pay high taxes and still live as a rich man... a famiy making $50k doesn't pay high taxes... but a family making $100k pays high taxes and doesn't have a lot of money left over to throw around. Plus, no government money comes our way, because we are deemed too "rich" for such programs. Hence it is our class that is painfully robbed; the rich don't feel a thing.
    • Academics of any sort tend to be liberal, for reasons unknown. I would imagine that this is because, in theory, a truly communistic society will work well (although it can never be implemented in real life), or because with things like tenure, professors are used to an environment with a very limited class system.
    • Ultra-rich businessmen tend to be conservative, because the government interferes with the world of business.
    • This leaves the middle. How do they divide? I have no idea, but I venture to say it is approximately evenly divided.

    A new year calls for a new signature.

  • It's fantastic to watch one's credibility disintegrate like this.

    Not to mention that teaching is a union-controlled industry, and as we've consistently seen in the past, unionized workers aren't of the highest caliper.

    Good job, union teachers!

    "It's a homonym...."

  • Wow. Raising teachers salaries. Finally someone agrees with me. I mean, I bet most of the /. crowd does too, but in Minnesota, Gov. Ventura is cutting funding for the U of Minnesota, because the professors there "make too much money". He's just upset because someone can make more money than him. What a jackass.
  • Yeah, after they had some sort of licensing deal I went back to check it out again. For some reason, I can only access like 2 or 3 songs from each CD I "beamed" to their site. Everything else is locked. I guess this is part of the agreement or something... it really irks me that I can't use the service since I own the CDs anyway and it would be cool to queue up my CD collection whenever I have to work on someone else's computer.
  • OK, let me get this straight: Republicans are rich, evil, and stupid, while Democrats are poor, virtuous, and smart? The only wealthy Democrats are politicians and actors, the higher majority are low wage earners enjoying the handouts provided by the government. That is, of course, a sweeping generalization, but one that is not much more inaccurate than your portrayal. Political ranting aside, the scariest thing about the teaching profession is that, in almost all colleges, education has the lowest entrace requirements -- sometimes lower than the "advertised" entrance requirements for the school as a whole. This is done to "encourage" new teachers, but it often ends up as the curriculum of choice for people who can't cut it in other programs. Can't do the math to get an engineering degree? Simple, change to education and *teach* math. If you can't attract qualified people to the teaching profession with pay, benefits, and prestige, you get what we have now.
  • This is further proof that only the stupidest people in the country can't figure out how to get out of jury duty. Is this such a good idea? I hope I'm never defending myself in front of a jury!

  • As my birthday is actually April 1, I'm absolutely sick of this trend. Nearly every news outlet feels compelled to post practical jokes on the day I'm supposed to be having fun! And its not at all what April Fools day is all about.
    This is NO JOKING MATTER people.
    Originally April 1 was the beginning of the new year. (Makes sense, as spring is time of renewal, etc.)
    In 1564, Charles IX of France, decreed that New Years day be moved to January 1 to align with the (upcoming) Gregorian calender. Those who refused to change or forgot were sent foolish gifts or invited to non-existant parties. Butts of these pranks were called "poisson d'avril." Over the next 200 years the practice spread from France to England and then the United States.
    I, for one, having been the "target" of too much of such toomfoolery (through no fault other than my mother's poor choice of a conception date,) demand the reinstatement of April 1 as New Years day. Further, I demand the abolishment of so-called "jokes" on this day and reciprocal punishment for pranksters who attempt them. Maybe they can spend some time in the dungeon.
    I am not without sympathy for those who want some outlet for their creative humourous juices. I propose February 29th for the new Fool's day. Those born on that day would only have to put up with all the ridicule every 4 years. Anyway, they are foolish for trying to convince us they are only 1/4 of thier actual age!
  • Dude, I think you may have been had. There is a pretty common urban myth [snopes.com] regarding a legislated value for pi. I don't see that this dumblaws site has done a lot of research to back up their claims, and frankly about 90% of what I saw for the state of Indiana looked highly suspicious. Since they don't document in any way where their claim comes from, or how to check up on it, I'm willing to bet that it was just a 'helpful submission' from someone perpetuating a silly myth.
  • by tunabomber ( 259585 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @04:28PM (#297651) Homepage
    Now that they have PDA's that can detect acceleration, how long before they have airbags in 'em? Your days of painful collisions with other angry pedestrians while playing tetris would be over.
  • by TGK ( 262438 ) on Wednesday April 11, 2001 @08:23PM (#297652) Homepage Journal
    Unions have nothing to do with it

    Ok, well, sure they could. But they don't. Why? Because teaching sucks no one wants to teach, not anyone in their right minds anyhow. Basicly you have to take shity wages for the privilages of standing in front of a class room full of bitter, hostile, and (more and more frequently) armed teenagers with unstable hormonal ballances.

    Small wonder there's a teacher shortage. Which is why we have so many shitty teachers. Something is better than nothing. That's why we have football coaches teaching history. That's why any nimrod can get a job teaching your children.

    Now you'd think that supply and demand would catch up with this system, but it hasn't yet. I for the life of me can't figgure out why. If you started paying teachers 45,000 to 50,000 a year you could start demanding a hell of a lot more of them. More to the point, there are a lot of people who have teaching cirtificates as a "backup" who might make awsome teachers. Start paying a reasonably sane wage and they might go ahead and give it a try. Can't hurt.

    Of course, the final problem is the fact that teachers have to deal with parrents. Seriously, you go the the doctor, he diagnoses that pain in your ear as an ear infection, gives you antibiodics. You take them... why? Cause he's a doctor, he knows what he's talking about right? Same thing if your lawyer tells you that clause in your will is full of holes, you fix it. Why? Cause he's a lawyer, he knows his shit. But when a teacher tells you that you need to spend more time reading to your kid and helping him with his homework, or that your kid might have a learning disability... that's for some reason unaccecptable. People actualy go off a teachers for this sort of thing. Teachers have lost their jobs (yes I know people this happened to) for this stuff.

    You've REALLY gotta love those kids to put up with that shit. That's the argument for keeping the job horrid. Of course, you might not love them, you might just be a lazy bastard that dosn't want to have to strain intelectualy. Sounds like we've encountered both kinds. I'm open to any solution, but I've yet to hear one that will be 100% effective.



    This has been another useless post from....
  • That's fine for physics...sometimes you have to let the mind wander and not care about precision, but if I'd ever design something using dickass approximations I'd be shot :) oh yeah, and btw:
  • Not at all. If I had to defend myself infront of a jury, I'd much rather be in front of stupid people.

    I'd just do some research into what stupid people can relate to (Pro Wrasslin' and Springer come to mind), and drop a few hints (blatently obvious, of course -- they're stupid) so they knew we were "on the same team" or whatever.

    They wouldn't want to wrong one of their own, would they?

  • It seems to me as if IBMs involvement with the KDE is more harmful than good at this point. IBM recently made a tutorial for KDE themes. When I went to the web site hosting the tutorial, I noticed a little bit of info at the bottom of the page stating that IE or netscape is required to view it. Konqueror worked fine. The rest of the theming information was outdated as well. Their effort into this ViaVoice thing is also indicative of IBM's half-hearted approach to supporting the KDE.

    As far as the theming tutorial goes, it just seems as if IBM picked an employee at random, told them to research the KDE a little bit and then had them slap a theming tutorial together. If this is not the case, then it is my opinion that IBM has somebody to repremand, if not fire. Things like this do not help the community warm up to corporate backers such as IBM.

  • Business will ALWAYS take advantage of uneducated workers, and that is why we have unions. Why blame people for their shortcomings? You sound like an insufferable prick so get off your high horse and do a little reading of history about unions before you make you completely uninformed comments about said subject
  • Oh I missed his other comment about MJ. The ONLY reason MJ got paid what he did was the unionization of the players. Read how much they made back in the day....
  • So Pi=6 right?
  • Two jurors left voice-mail messages Friday evening for a court clerk indicating that the $3,125 figure "was supposed to be $31,250," Rakoff said. He said it was possible that jurors had arrived at a grand total during deliberations, then "divided it wrongly."

    Was this not their first clue that SOMETHING was awry? Perhaps a little pre-service exam would be usefull...

    [ ] Check this box if you are an idiot, please.
    Here's your sign....


    The One,
    The Only,
    --The Kid
  • When questioned about the ruling a juror replied, "Yeah, we wanted to award them Pi-million dollars. It's kind of a pun, since most awards are round numbers (get it? Pi... round?) and we were all really into math. So that's about $300,000 -- right?"
    --
  • 1. Why would anyone want to do this?
    Like all creative endeavours this life has to offer, FPing is driven by a plethora of individuals with a myriad of motivations. Admittedly, there are some in the FP community whose aims lean toward the worldly side--FPing has a large fanbase, and the constant lure of the money and women available to its stars is a recurring issue--but for the most part, FP participants find that the exhiliration of "First Post!!!" is in itself its own reward.

    9. Don't you people have a life?
    Why, sure. How else could we have girlfriends to profess undying FP love for, or dead homiez to give props to? Admittedly the lifestyle of the average First Post superstar is quite hectic, but consistency is frequently based upon dedication to ones craft in this constantly evolving FP game, so the best soon learn to find a healthy middle ground (or are blessed with the Gift, and just know when a glorious FP is there for the taking).

  • heh. i have a ton of mp3s. but they are and most likely always will be pirated music. I think anyone who is stupid enough to try to make money off selling mp3s is a tard. or maybe even stupider yet, the people who pay for them. What I think is great is how napster is taking such a beating for it. They are spending so much money on legal fees and objecting to all these verdicts, but what the fuck do they expect?!!? Their service is for nothing more than to pirate music! They can't say it isnt. I mean if you have a peice of huge piece of land and someone grows pot on a small part of it, you may be able to plead ignorance. When you have a huge peice of land and you are growing pot on the whole thing, you won't be able to convince the police that you thought it was just a pretty plant. get my point? so im going to go download some mp3's now. hehe.
    http://www.phatmax.net [phatmax.net]
    the pr0n-o-matic

...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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