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Comment Re:If it's any consolation... (Score 1) 7

...the regular use a browser on a computer web site is getting worse all the time as well.

Actually my experience - using Firefox in Linux - has not changed much in some time, and I am glad to say that. Indeed it generally does tend to only get worse around here but it has been quite some time since I noticed any changes.

I will say that when I used konqueror I found that even very simple tasks like changing my account settings could have catastrophic results leading to browser crash.

Comment Re:Charging authors is not much better... (Score 4, Informative) 61

Charging authors to publish is not much better than charging people to read the articles

Every journal I am aware of that uses any kind of peer review process does this. This system, however, is a lot cheaper. I recently publised in PLoS ONE and I had to pay around $1,500 for that. I really hope these guys can keep their publication costs down and manage to acquire some prestige so they get indexed in relevant places.

What we truly need is a system that is paid for by universities, cooperatively, that allows anyone to submit a paper and allows anyone to download as many or as few papers as they would like.

Some journals have tried that - look at the institutional memberships at PLoS (my institution is not a member) and BioMedCentral for example - the problem with that though is that memberships like that would usually be paid for by the school libraries and quite nearly every school in this country is trying to reduce their library expenditures.

Comment Re:He's not quite so level-headed (Score 1) 19

Agreed, gun safes and trigger locks should be mandatory.

Indeed, although enforcement is pretty well impossible. The best way to encourage responsible gun ownership is to truly throw the book at hacks who are careless with their weapons.

If someone breaks into your house, steals your gun safe, takes it home and rips it to shreds with a torch to get out your gun and then goes out and kills someone with it, you couldn't have reasonably done more and the person who stole it should be solely responsible. However if you leave your loaded gun on the kitchen table and someone picks it up and fires off a round it should be treated as if the gun was in your own hand.

I know that there are plenty of responsible gun owners in this country who do not aspire to be murderers. They keep their guns locked away when they are not shooting them and they should not be punished for being responsible. However there are unfortunately far too many irresponsible owners who through laziness, stupidity, or whatever else, end up catalyzing injuries and death. The latter group deserves to go to jail when their mismanaged weapons become instruments of injury and death in any hand.

Comment Re:I don't know about slashcode (Score 1) 7

Odd that you mention slashcode. I remember someone else brought it up in a discussion I was in a few weeks back, and I pointed out that the latest slashcode is at least three years old

. Hell, not only is it old but the last comment on it was from a friend of yours who has not worked for slashdot for some time.

While I for one don't really care if they ever release a newer version of it, I do think it would be interesting to know how much of the available slashcode is still used to run this site.

Comment Re:It must be time for a new non-troversy by now (Score 1) 16

Do you find erotic relief in the word 'impeachment'?

No, I just thought I'd see what your latest favorite conspiracy theory was. Even if I used it in every conversation I have with you between now and the end of time I still wouldn't be able to raise it as many times against Obama as you have.

That said I am impressed that you are still beating this dead horsefly. I really expected you would have abandoned it before now and moved on to some other fabulous allegation you could provide no factual support to.

Asking for a friend.

Sure. Sure, you are.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot's "new" mobile site also sucks epically 7

A week or so ago there was a front page story here bragging about the "new" mobile site on slashdot. I was interested to see this as before they had pretty well abandoned development for mobile devices. I know of their abandonment based on a time when I wrote former site manager Rob Malda and he told me that they would not be developing for mobile devices.

Comment Re:Can you replace your whole system for that pric (Score 1) 380

From reading the article it seems the poster's son is interested in stuff like this and likes running a Minecraft - server, so it would be a hobby for him and therefore any time spent on recovering from losses would still be within the limits of an educational hobby.

Sure, but what is not clear is how much of the poster's time would be consumed by this. Is the son capable of managing this on his own (the abstract suggests the answer may be no)? If the dad has to put time into this then you need to estimate what his time is worth - in particular the opportunity cost of him not being available to do other fatherly stuff.

Comment Can you replace your whole system for that price? (Score 4, Interesting) 380

Sure, you can replace a PS or HD for less than the annual savings, but what if something bigger than that goes out? You are also ignoring the value of your time, as you would put a fair bit of time in to recovering from either of those losses.

That said, I run my own home server, but it's not something I do to save money. I run my own server because it allows me to configure it exactly how I want it configured and I know exactly how it is managed.

Comment Banking passwords are overrated (Score 4, Interesting) 195

It puzzles me when I see that people work really hard to come up with difficult passwords for their bank accounts, but not for their personal accounts on their own computers. They really need to think about what value those passwords have to other people - in particular what could someone else do with those passwords if they had them?

I have used a fair number of different banks over the past couple decades and seen a lot of different online banking systems. Not once have I seen one where you could actually use the online system to arbitrarily move money outside the account owner's accounts. I have seen some where you can set up bill payments, but that was a chore and would not be useful for trying to pull money out quickly. Most online banking systems intentionally do not even give full account or routing numbers to logged in users, and I've never seen one give out SSN or DOB either.

On the other hand, people keep a lot of personal information on their PCs. If you can get their personal user names and passwords you could get a lot more useful information on them. A lot of users likely have their SSN and DOB in their browser cache somewhere, and almost everyone has their address somewhere in there.

Comment Re:He's not quite so level-headed (Score 1) 19

I could have been more verbose on that comment. I was thinking not only of cases where a gun owner accidentally shoots someone from their own stupidity but also cases where an irresponsible gun owner leaves their gun sitting out and someone else gets ahold of it and injures or kills someone. I may sound like a broken record on the matter but a key example of this is the heavily-spun "Wii suicide" from a few years ago. That was clearly a case of an atrociously irresponsible gun owner but in the rush to defend the idiot, conservatives proceeded to blame the Wii controller.

Comment Re:He's not quite so level-headed (Score 1) 19

I see young blacks throwing around the word "nigga" as a good thing.

Whether you believe it or not some claim that when they use it themselves they "take ownership" of the word and make it to mean something positive. In a way it's almost like when Jewish people use the term "Jew" to refer to themselves or other Jewish people. While "Jew" can be used in a derogatory way it can also just be a way for people of that set to identify others of the same set.

Comment Re:He's not quite so level-headed (Score 1) 19

As I said before, I agree with the NRA on pretty much nothing. They are indeed just a massive lobbying group for the GOP at present. As far as firearm ownership goes I would say the biggest problem i have with them is that they don't do jack shit to actually encourage responsibility in ownership. If they were honestly interested in personal responsibility they would favor a national database to track every single gun sold from this point forward without exception. If they were honestly interested in personal responsibility they would make examples out of irresponsible idiots who accidentally kill themselves or others by way of stupidity. If they were honestly interested in personal responsibility they would also acknoweldge that some people feel safer without guns and that gun owners should not encroach on peoples' freedoms to make such choices.

Instead they repeatedly go against such things. The NRA is as interested in safety and responsibility as much as McDonald's and WalMart are interested in preventing obesity and diabetes. And just like McDonald's and WalMart, the NRA has a product to sell and as long as said product is viable and profitable they will keep selling it and damn the consequences.

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