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Comment Re:OK, here's what I think *really* might have... (Score 1) 146

You're such an idiot.

You're such a genius. You were the one who suggested "plonk". Since Slashdot doesn't have an actual killfile, Foe is the closest thing. I don't see a pill on your post. Just the red dot. You're in a very exclusive club--the 2nd Foe in 10 years. It's kind of sad, really. We've been on here about the same ammount of time, based on userid number. I looked over some of your other posts. You've got some 5s, very nice posts; but you also have a lot of these back-n-forth pissing contests with other users. I try not to get into them too often; but sometimes I screw up like I have with you. The red dot is just there to remind me that you're one of those types. Of course, I'd be willing to remove it if you turn out to be somebody who can, you know... admit that you aren't God's gift to the Internet who is always right, always has it nailed down, and can just insult people and expect to get respect.

Once again, it's not real "hate" or highschool stuff. Just a way of flagging. I sincerely hope that we can come to some kind of mutual respect and understanding as human beings who see things differently and aren't perfect... but if we can't, then the little red ball is there to let me know it's not worth bothering.

Comment Re:To answer part of your question (Score 1) 319

It happens even when we're not logged in to the game and reboot the router to get a new IP address.

How large a subnet is this? I suppose it's possible they could be DoS'ing an entire subnet if it's not too large. If so, the ISP is stupid not to care about it. Many perfectly innocent users would be randomly assigned IPs in that block, and simply think the ISP sucked. Oh and please don't take this the wrong way. I don't know your level of skill with networks; but the "new IPs" don't start with 10. or 192.168 do they?

Comment Re:Here's the real problem he has (Score 4, Interesting) 479

The situation in publishing is very different than what you're imagining. Word is just how the text gets edited up to the point where page production starts. Then the whole thing is converted to InDesign or QuarkExpress. The reason to use Word is actually just because it's convenient and supports change tracking and reviewing, so it's convenient for communicating copy edits and dev edits to the author, and allows the author to accept or reject changes proposed by the copy editor.

What would be better would be a common document format that is used by the tool authors use, the tool copy editors use (probably the same tool) and the tool designers use. The designers would simply style the text for a specific page layout, which avoids the issues you're talking about. Significant edits after layout would still break the layout, but that's something the designers have to deal with during the final edit of the page proofs anyway.

The problem is that neither Microsoft nor Adobe is at all interested in an open format for their tools, for reasons Stross explains pretty well in his article. And since there is no competing tool that _does_ provide this functionality, the situation persists. What Charlie is complaining about now is what I was complaining about in 1997 when I co-wrote the DHCP Handbook. I find it amazing that nobody has successfully broken this deadlock, despite all the changes in the publishing industry since 1997 (it was actually old news even in 1997).

Anyway, the reason I mention HTML as a good format is that if the tools supported it, it could literally carry through all the way from the author to the final electronic book. Any shared format would work; HTML just happens to be insanely popular and widely used, which is what makes it (IMHO) the right choice.

Comment Re:No, loathing not really contagious (Score 1) 479

Agreed. Actually, I'd say the critic is mostly wrong. Word is a general purpose word processing application and complaining that it's not "pure" enough because it dares to support multiple paradigms both misses the point, and is complaining about a non-issue.

If someone wanting to write a quick note has to go through the bureaucracy of setting up stylesheets, or someone who wants to produce a ready formatted text book has to manually change the font every time they create a headline, subheading, or margin note, then the application is a failure. It isn't. It, like its many peers (where does the submitter get it from that Word was the first WYSIWYG word processor out of interest?), is a universal word processing application that caters to multiple types of user.

Comment Re:Here's the real problem he has (Score 1, Troll) 479

So his publisher is forcing him to use Word. I would be annoyed as well. I know at least some publishers accept PDF (and some even LaTeX). So maybe he should just choose a different publisher.

Thank you, cheerleader for the lemmings of self-marginalization. Choosing from a restricted pool tends to lead to less excellent choices. But don't stop to complain about this, even if it bites you at every turn.

The reality here is that the Word ecosystem is at least as destructive to orderly progress as IE6 was the to progression of web site design, but it's proving a lot harder to pry the cold, callous fingers of corporations who are deeply invested in this ecosystem off of the central dysfunction.

For one thing, the entire cloud business model, for any company not Microsoft, depended on an interoperability standard that Microsoft couldn't scupper with the next software release. There was enhanced visibility of the issue, and giant pools of money behind the rearguard action, not to mention the aftermath of a court case that forced Microsoft to dribble with its head down, lest it be red carded yet again for charging down the court with two muscular arms cradling the basketball.

Word is such a monumental disaster that I actually smile when formatting my documents as PDF. This despite the fact that a large percentage of all two-column PDF documents have a one-column cut and paste text model (when you try to select the top half of the left column, you get the top half of both columns, with line fragments interspersed).

The semantic web is so far seemingly stillborn. The day will come when the algorithms wish to understand text at the same level as your trusty editor--I mean the person who helps you get it right.

Maybe then this problem will sort itself out.

Comment Re:Here's the real problem he has (Score 4, Insightful) 479

Publishers sometimes will accept camera-ready PDF, but that's a _lot_ of work, and in the age of digital publishing, a complete non-starter, because PDF is more like paper than text. Submitting in MS Word is much easier. It's a royal pain in the ass, especially since the MS Word document is essentially a consumable, and is thrown away as soon as the publisher goes to typesetting. It means that page proof edits have to be done by hand, and that second editions often don't capture all the page proof corrections, because those corrections never go into the word document unless the author does it, but that's also time consuming, because the author has to not only incorporate the page proof edits, but all of the copyedits as well.

The whole thing is a monumental waste of everybody's time—if it were possible to do all the edits to the same document, throughout the life of the book, it would be much more efficient. Style-sheet-oriented HTML is actually a better choice than Word, but nobody uses it because there isn't a good HTML editor that does change control.

Comment Re:To answer part of your question (Score 3, Interesting) 319

I'm not a gamer either, but i suspect most games are controlled by server connections with no p2p connectivity.

If I were building the kind of games you see depicted on Big Bang Theory, the gameplay would be through the server; but the chit-chat with the headphones would be p2p. There's no point routing all that chit-chat through the server. I guess you could play the game without the headphones; but it would be difficult to coordinate attacks with your partners.

When I thought about this a bit more, it occurred to me that the person being DoS'd should contact the game company. Now it gets interesting.

The game company has two aspects of its reputation to defend. 1. It doesn't want players being DoS'd. 2. It doesn't want to LART players based on spurious accusations.

That means it would have to make sure the suspect is guilty. They could have the user switch IP several times, and only display the new IP to the suspect. If displaying the new IP to the suspect resulted in the DoS being redirected, but displaying the new IP to other users didn't, then that seems like a smoking gun to me.

Now we get into the whole cost/benefit analysis for the game company to do something like that. It's probably easier just to log complaints against users, and pull the plug on people after N complaints. If say, 8 users from different walks of life have complained that X is DoS'ing them because he got pissed off, then there's a pretty good chance X is guilty. The best thing about this approach is that it works for all kinds of bad behavior, not just DoS'ing. You're going to have to handle complaints about users anyway, so there you have my answer for now:

Complain to the game company, but not until you've checked to make sure that something else isn't compromising your system..

Comment Re:shoulda got it right the first time (Score 1) 189

What would your policy prescription be after 9/11 and the anthrax attacks?

1) Armor the cockpit bulkheads. 2) create separate door for pilot entry. 3) no connection to passenger space. 4) only communication from passenger space is a large red button marked "pressing this button requests pilots to land at nearest medical facility."

That's it. No need to screw US civil rights or plane travel or write a PATRIOT act or anything. The PROBLEM was terrorists -- organized criminals -- using aircraft as directed kinetic energy weapons. That problem could have been 100% solved by the above.

As it was, we spent a huge amount of money and lost a huge number of US soldiers, and hosed travel and stomped on our own civil rights. Monumentally stupid. We should have spent that money making our infrastructure better, highways safer, healthcare better, etc. Instead, we used it to support the military industrial complex at ZERO benefit to ourselves (excepting the fat cats who own said MIC.)

WRT anthrax attacks -- normal legal procedures were sufficient for them too, although perhaps some automatic gear to detect bio and chem agents in the post and package services would have been appropriate. We'll always have wackos. It's not worthwhile to turn our country into a caricature of the soviets at their worst because someone, somewhere, has lost their marbles. Freedom comes with risk. You eliminate the risk, you've eliminated freedom. That shouldn't be acceptable to anyone but the purest cowards.

Comment To answer part of your question (Score 4, Insightful) 319

We seem to have attracted the attention of some less than savory types in online gaming

Followed by:

And how do they find us with a new MAC address and IP within minutes?

This is pretty obvious. The game is telling them. Not much of a gamer myself; but I'm willing to wager you can see the IP address from which a particular user is logged on. Maybe the game will let you cloak that. If it won't they can always find you again...

Comment Re:Ok (Score 3, Insightful) 150

It is impossible for anything posted to a Twitter feed to be spam, since seeing it requires you to follow that feed.

By that logic, it is impossible for anything posted in a newsgroup to be spam, since seeing it requires you to read that newsgroup. Which is a pretty silly interpretation, given the history involved.

You're not the only person here who "was on the Internet when the term was invented," you know.

Comment Re:We are the ones in need of a network (Score 1) 107

The problem in itself is NP-hard, but it turns out that in some cases of interest

Perfect solutions are often NP-hard in systems where pretty-good solutions are nowhere close to NP-hard in many practical circumstances.

The declaration of NP-hard is way overrated. We use it mostly because mathematics still can't chew "pretty good" in any rigorous way.

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