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Comment Re:RUDEST PASSENGER EVER (Score 4, Informative) 928

The way I read it, he had a 1st class ticket, but his kids were traveling economy. So he was trying to board them at the same time as first class, even though they were not.

There is only one class on Southwest: Cattle Class. When you check in prior to your flight, you are assigned a boarding group and number. Groups are A, B, and C from 1 through 60. A1 through A15 are reserved for Business Select and other special privileges (including frequent flier miles). Other than getting to board earlier and have a wider selection of seats, they are all the same.

According to Southwest's policy, people travelling together but with different boarding positions have the option to board together, provided the person higher up in line waits with the people further back. How this applies to families, I'm fuzzy on, but I would assume if you have a business select or other pass that allows boarding in the A1 through A15 group, it would make sense to have young children (say, under 10 years old) board with you. It seems like this is what the guy had done on several flights previously.

What the gate agent did was apply the boarding policy in the strictest possible terms, which IMO was an asshole move. But it was still technically according to policy. Did he get lucky, or was this particular agent just being overly strict? Could be either or. Pulling them off the flight for a tweet, however, was completely uncalled for. Threatening to call the police unless he deleted said tweet was harassment, plain and simple. Plus, how in the hell did she figure out who it was so quickly? Was she on twitter while she was supposed to be working, or did some corporate wonk call the gate?

I've been a customer of Southwest for a while, but how they handle this in the long run will determine wether or not I continue to be.


Delayed Fatherhood May Be Linked To Certain Congenital and Mental Disorders 192

New submitter optimus_phil writes "New Scientist magazine reports on findings that suggest that delaying fatherhood may increase the risk of fathering children with disorders such as Apert syndrome, autism and schizophrenia. The article reports that 'although there is a big increase in risk for many disorders, it's a big increase in a very small risk. A 40-year-old is about 50 per cent more likely to father an autistic child than a 20-year-old is, for instance, but the overall risk is only about 1 per cent to start with.'"

Submission + - Slashdot Beta Woes 16

s.petry writes: What is a Slashdot and why the Beta might destroy it?

Slashdot has been around, well, a very long time. Longer than any of it's competators, but not as long as IIRC. Slashdot was a very much one of the first true social media web sites.

On Slashdot, you could create a handle or ID. Something personal, but not too personal, unless you wanted it to be. But it was not required either. We know each other by our handles, we have watched each other grow as people. We may have even taken pot shots at each other in threads. Unless of course you are anonymous, but often we can guess who that really is.

One of Slashdot's first motto's was "News for Nerds" that Matters. I have no idea when that was removed. I have not always scoured the boards here daily, life can get too busy for that. That excuses my ignorance in a way. I guess someone thought it politically incorrect, but most of us "Nerds" enjoyed it. We are proud of who we are, and what we know. Often we use that pride and knowledge to make someone else look bad. That is how we get our digs in, and we enjoy that part of us too. We don't punch people, we belittle them. It's who we are!

What made Slashdot unique were a few things. What you will note here is "who" has been responsible for the success of Slashdot. Hint, it has never been a just the company taking care of the servers and software.

— First, the user base submitted stories that "they" thought mattered. It was not a corporate feed. Sure, stories were submitted about companies. The latest break through from AMD and Intel, various stories regarding the graphic card wars, my compiler is better than your compiler, and yes your scripting language stinks! Microsoft IIS has brought us all a few laughs and lots of flame wars to boot. Still, we not only read about the products but get to my second point.

— User comments. This is the primary why we have been coming here for as long as we have, many of us for decades. We provide alternative opinions or back what was given in the article. This aspect not only makes the "News" interesting, but often leads to other news and information sharing. It's not always positive, but this is the nature of allowing commentary. It also brings out the third point.

— Moderation. Moderation has been done by the community for a very long time. It took lots of trial and error to get a working system. As with any public system it's imperfect, but it's been successful. People can choose to view poorly modded comments, but don't have to. As with posting anonymous versus with our own handle it's an option that allows us to personalize the way we see and read what's on the site. And as a reward for submitting something worth reading, you might get a mod point of your own to use as a reward for someone else.

Why we dislike Beta and what is being pushed, and why this will result in the end of an era if it becomes forced on the community.

1. Bulky graphics. We get that Dice and Slashdot need revenue. I have Karma good enough to disable advertisements, but have never kept this setting on. I realize that Slashdot/Dice make money with this. That said, the ads sit away from my news and out of the way. I can get there if I want it (but nobody has ever gotten a penny from me clicking an ad... nobody!), but it's not forced into my face or news feed.

2. Low text area. I like having enough on my screen to keep me busy without constant scrolling. Slashdot currently has the correct ratio of text to screen. This ratio has never been complained about, yet Beta reduces the usable text area by at least 1/2 and no option for changing the behavior. I hate reading Slashdot on mobile devices because I can't stand scrolling constantly.

3. JavaScript. We all know the risks of JS, and many of us disable it. We also have an option of reading in Lync or non-standard browsers that many of us toy with for both personal and professional reasons. This flexibility is gone in Beta, and we are forced to allow JS to run. If you don't know the risks of allowing JS to run, you probably don't read much on Slashdot. Those that allow JS do so accepting the risk (which is admittedly low on a well known site).

4. Ordering/Sorting/Referencing. Each entry currently gets tagged with a unique thread ID. This allows linking to the exact post in a thread, not just the top of the thread. In Beta this is gone. It could be that the site decided to simply hide the post ID or it was removed. Either way, going to specific posts is something that is used very commonly by the community.

5. Eye candy. Most of us are not here for "eye candy" and many have allergic reactions to eye candy. Slashdot has a good mix currently. It's not as simple as the site starting with a r-e-d-i-t, which is good. That site has a reputation that keeps many of us away, and their format matches my attitude of them (s-i-m-p-l-e-t-o-n). At the same time, it's not like watching some other "news" sites with so much scrolling crap I can't read an article without getting a headache. The wasted space in beta for big bulky borders, sure smells like eye candy. Nothing buzzes or scrolls yet, but we can sense what's coming in a patch later.

The thing is, the community cares about Slashdot. We come here because we care. We submit stories because of that, we vote because of that, we moderate because of that, and we comment because of that. At the same time we realize that without the community Slashdot loses most of its value. We respect that we don't host the servers, backup the databases, or patch the servers. Slashdot/Dice provide the services needed for Slashdot.

It's a give give relationship, and we each get something in return. Slashdot gets tons of Search hits and lots of web traffic. We get a place to learn, teach, and occasionally vent.

Look, if you want to change default color scheme or make pre-made palettes for us to choose from, we would probably be okay with that. If you want to take away our ability to block ads by Karma, or move the ads to the left side of my browser window, I would be okay with those things too.

If you want to make drastic changes to how the site works, this is a different story all together. The reason so many are against Beta is that it breaks some of the fundamental parts of what makes Slashdot work.

User input until recently has not been acknowledged. The acknowledgment we have received is not from the people that are making the decision to push Beta live. We told people Beta was broken, what it lacked, and we were rather surprised to get a warning that Beta would be live despite what we told people. People are already making plans to leave, which means that Slashdot could fade away very soon.

Whether this was the goal for Dice or not remains to be seen. If it is, it's been nice knowing you but I won't be back. A partnership only works when there is mutual respect between the parties. A word of caution, us Nerds have good memories and lots of knowledge. The loss of Slashdot impacts all of Dice holdings, not just Slashdot. I boycott everything a company holds, not just the product group that did me wrong.

If that was not the goal of Dice, you should quickly begin communicating with the user base. What are the plans are to fix what Beta has broken? Why is Beta being pushed live with things broken? A "Sorry we have not been communicating!", and perhaps even a "Thank you" to the user base for helping make Slashdot a success for so many years.

Comment Of course it could be big. (Score 5, Informative) 276

Bank of America is always looking for new ways to screw over their "customers", be it through fees, lying, or trying to steal their (paid off) houses through foreclosure (and blaming it on "computer error" when caught). They're probably drooling like hungry dogs over all the ways they can fleece people with Bitcoin...

Comment Re:SHIT (Score 1) 549

How can I shield my car against this? I'm willing to add up to 20lbs to do it.

Sell it and buy an antique from the pre-electronics era. Carburetor and points ignition. Although I assume most of them will be a wee bit more than a 20lb increase over a modern car...

Bad assumption to make; A V6 2012 Toyota Camry XLE has a curb weight of 3,395 lbs, whereas a 1956 Ford Fairlane Skyliner (that's the hardtop convertible one!) has a curb weight on 3,390 lbs.

Although, in your defense, I was a bit surprised to find that out myself... and I'm one of those 'car guys.'

Learned firsthand how heavy a Camry is when I rented one (L, instead of XLE though) on a visit to Texas a couple years back. Really nice car, and the steering took almost no effort. However, having to go from the off-ramp IMMEDIATELY to the street I needed to be on brought me back to reality. No amount of hydraulics and drive-by-wire wizardry could fight the physics of taking that much metal from 55 to 15 in about 400 feet. No danger of skidding, but I DEFINITELY felt the weight of the car on that one...

Comment Good For Them (Score 2) 132

Seriously, my humble congrats to the team on their success so far. We need more players in the space game, and knowledge gained will hopefully benefit everyone.

On a more philosophical note, I'd love to see this benefit India as a whole by pointing out to everyone just how insignificant we ALL are in the grand scheme of the universe. While they've "officially" abolished the caste system, it's still there in a lot of ways. The more people realize that Earth is but a tiny speck, the more people will (hopefully...I can dream, right?) begin to treat each other better, especially those deemed to be in a "lower class" by some arbitrary rules that nobody alive has any connection to anymore. Actually, it would be nice if we could all work toward that, not just Indian society.

Comment Nothing but excuses. It's still wrong. (Score 3, Insightful) 198

All uninstallation procedures are exhaustively documented, and all third party offers go through a comprehensive compliance process to make sure they are virus and malware free.

You clowns at SourceForge/Dice are missing the point. Users DON'T WANT this garbage on their system. You are deliberately trying to get them to install it, even if it's by mistake.

And what about all the institutions providing you with mirroring? Are they getting a cut of this revenue now? If they're not, then you are DELIBERATELY attempting to profit from their charity and generosity. Personally, I hope every single mirror deletes any SourceForge related material from their servers and tells you to go die in a fire. You are attempting to profit from the work and resources of others who believed they were contributing to the free software community. For that, you are to be shamed, shunned, and written off as yet another group of clueless MBA's out to monitize the entire fucking world at the expense of others. Go fuck yourselves and look for a real job where you have to WORK instead of ruining other people's reputations by bundling useless shit with their software.

Comment It'll never work. (Score 3, Funny) 93

At least not on Comcast. The crappy Motorola boxes they use are barely capable of running the 1980's style GUI they have now. Adding in anything more complex than a calculator (and I'm not so sure about that) will cause the damn things to fry themselves. How they manage to decode HD streams has to be some form of witchcraft, because splurging on good MPEG decoders would mean eating into the corporate yacht funds.

Comment Re:Surprise! (Score 1) 443

...It is pretty widely known and agreed that PayPal very rarely rip off buyers; just sellers...

Which is exactly why I closed my account. They continually treat sellers like criminals, so I refuse to use them as a buyer. I can't BE a buyer if nobody wants to sell due to the risk of having their account pillaged at the drop of a hat.

Comment I would love to see this. (Score 2) 490

I'd love to see this, but not because I wish any harm on Assange (even though I personally think he's a douchebag of the highest order, that's not an offense worthy of capital punishment). No, I'd love to see the boot-lickers TRY to justify the unsanctioned murder of a foreign national on third-party soil. They would be so torn between their supposed progressive ideal of "we shouldn't police the world" and their unabashed devotion to Dear Leader that their heads would probably explode from the contradiction. I honestly don't think they'd know which way to spin it, and would end up just mumbling on air while looking like a deer in headlights.

In the end, they'd still try to justify it because they know it could be the rallying cry for the masses FINALLY waking up and booting every single one of these clowns out of office. If that happens, the media loses their biggest ally and would have to go back to actual journalism instead of repeating whatever the White House Press Office gives them...

Or maybe we'll just end up with more reality-tv tripe and things will continue on. Probably this, but I can dream, can't I?

Comment It's Simple, Really. (Score 4, Insightful) 189

Does he have a piece of paper in his hand from this mythical company that clearly states they are offering him a job and what the compensation will be? Does he have one from Blizzard? The correct choice is whichever of these two he can say "yes" to.

If your friend doesn't have this dubious "$70k as a college graduate" offer/promise on paper, signed, and in his possession , then such a position doesn't exist. Period. If he believes otherwise, he's gonna have a bad time.

Comment Well this is interesting... (Score 1) 82

I seem to remember the idea of such a thing being laughed at not too long ago. Actually, it was in one of the Pebble threads where an iDrone specifically proclaimed "If a connected watch were a good idea, Apple would have done it years ago!"

But now that such a device is already on the market (that seems to be more practical and will have much better battery life due to e-ink vs OLED), Apple decides they can't let that stand. To not be filling every little mobile device niche is tantamount to admitting failure, even if their device turns out to be crap. But wait! You might be able to control this one by TOUCH! Well, that makes all the difference in the world!

I'm waiting for this iWatch thingie to be more about flair and eye candy than functionality, and for Apple to market it like the idea wasn't even possible until they came along. Then they'll likely sue Pebble for some sort of copyright infringement despite Apple being late to a party that someone else started.

"The all-new iMeToo: Designed by Apple in California"

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