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Comment Can they be more subtle? (Score 2, Funny) 427

Just another attempt by to regulate and/or control the internet, I can just bet that he has a shiny Powerpoint presentation all prepped about how suited MS would be to manage the corporate planning and data management.

About as subtle as Vlad and the Count soliciting for charitable donations :

"to de Blood bank... I mean Red Cross, yes. No, you don't hawe to come in, ve vill be ower.. , Ve Vill send an agent by right avay! Oh yes it is wery conwenient for you, Ve know exactly vhere you are, I mean, ve hawe your address yes. Thank you for agreeing to be ovr wicte.. heh donor!"

Right down to the 'mvahaha!' and the obligatory Thunder and Lightning.

Comment Re:Not surprising? (Score 1) 450

The goal at any large corporation is to leverage their market position, ...

The problem here is Microsoft spent too much time trying to leverage their market position when they should have spent more of that time improving their quality. They seem to be of the opinion that quality doesn't matter if you have sufficient market share to squash the competition without it. The problem with that idea, is it's a short-term solution, eventually the quality problems will come back to bite you.

And "leveraging your market position," is a monopolization tactic, essentially a form of cheating that when it becomes the predominant corporate culture, undermines the ability to compete in markets where their market position is not so strong. It's a poor substitute for a better product.

Science

Why the First Cowboy To Draw Always Gets Shot 398

cremeglace writes "Have you ever noticed that the first cowboy to draw his gun in a Hollywood Western is invariably the one to get shot? Nobel-winning physicist Niels Bohr did, once arranging mock duels to test the validity of this cinematic curiosity. Researchers have now confirmed that people indeed move faster if they are reacting, rather than acting first."

Comment immune wars (Score 1) 9

the article doesn't mention what concentrations the bacteria are found in because they are not in concentrations enough to do any harm to anyone but folks with limited to non-existent immune systems (of the boy in the plastic bubble type that is) who aren't going to be just running down to the Sev for a Big Gulp anyway. We live in a world of germs, our immune systems don't work if we aren't exposed to them regularly. If your immune system has nothing to attack, it will, just hanging out with all the rest of your inner workings, get bored and start looking for things to do It likes to fix things! "that *is* what it is there for after all! Why should it lay around doing nothing!" and it will go around fixing things regardless of their current working order. (kinda like those guys who, you will leave in the morning with them at the breakfast table with a coffee, and you will come home and they will have decided that the wall needed to be taken out, and part of the roof, because it was too dark in the kitchen, so the plumbing had to be re-routed through the neighbour's upper bedroom, and it turns out that the wall was a retaining wall, and you are renting. even if there was a perfectly good window blind they could have opened, directly to the left of the table,

*That* kind of fixing.

It is not surprising that the amount of auto-immune disorders have risen since we have become so 'germ-fearful', with anti-biotic this and antiseptic that, we only end up giving our immune systems an excuse for 'fixing' our own bodies, and end up killing of the least harmful germs, clearing the way for novel, more insidious, or double and triple resistant bacteria.

a few harmless bugs are good for the system.

Science

Submission + - New Study Links Autism with Schizophrenia (www.cbc.ca)

Magdalene writes: "According to a new study out of Simon Fraser University, Autism and Schizophrenia share associated gene pathways in the brain. Researcher Bernard Crespi and his colleages have found four regions in the human genome where mutations known as copy number variants can arise — stretches of DNA that contain accidental duplications or deletions. The investigators found deletion mutations in people with autism and duplications in people with schizophrenia, Their findings are further reported in this week's online issue of the Proceedings of the of the National Academy of Sciences. here"

Submission + - Why do you think Slashdot sucks? (slashdot.org)

An anonymous reader writes: As a long time reader and anonymous contributor, it saddens me to say Slashdot sucks. This has been going on for some time it seems. But I was the last to be told. I started hanging out at Reddit -Google it!- and noticed everything happened there 2 days in advance of Slashdot. But that's not why *I* think Slashdot sucks.

I think Slashdot sucks because its comment system is broken.

1) Comments take up too much screen real estate. 3 comments max can appear on the screen. On Reddit, you get more, thus...
2) Reddit is easier to skim and find what is useful. Slashdot forces you to scroll scroll scroll, then move the comments bar down to get more in view, then click click click on the add more comments button, then play with the stupid bar again. This is ridiculously complicated. Back in the good old days, you would just change the rating level, and all the posts that level and above would appear below. Now God only knows what posts will appear, thus...
3) The dynamic commenting system buries Anonymous posts much worse than before. Posting as anonymous is like writing on a napkin, wiping your mouth with it, and tossing it in the garbage. Why bother? I mean, unless you're eating tacos.

I, A. Coward, no longer want to contribute content to Slashdot if it ends up in some unnavigable comment hell. If I'm skipping the comments out of frustration with the script (along with the main stories, hell, the whole site these days), so are many others.

Proposed solution. Reduce screen real estate for comments. (Yes it solves everything!) Strive to get 8 one-line posts onto an average 15" laptop screen.

1) Get rid of the subject line, pointless rounded bubble edging, big honking reply buttons, all those vertical lines that exist only as symptoms of the underlying problem.
2) Use visual cues for up-voted content / posters with good karma (green = good, red = bad). Dim/shrink downvoted content, but don't hide its existence.
3) Instead of hiding posts, concatenate all posts more aggressively, maybe at 250 words for registered users, 150 words for anonymous cowards. Concatenate flamebait and trolls to one line, ~20 words. If you want to read more, click the post to dynamically load the rest of it.

While you guys are busy fixing the site, I'll write my ideas down on napkins and hang out at Reddit.

So why do *you* think Slashdot sucks?

Comment Re:Where do you still find those? (Score 1) 233

depends where you are. Check out the used computer warehouses in your area, they are sure to find one in the back that is gathering dust. All you need is an adapter, which they should also have. If you have trouble finding one give me a shout, I have about 3 in my dead tech closet with the commodore 64 ;).

-m

Comment 30 - 60 hz headache (Score 2, Funny) 384

I'm not sure about you, but at that low a refresh my eyes would walk right out of their sockets and donate themselves to science in protest.

Which, in foresight (heh) would be proceeding the rest of the body by only a few hours if I was lucky enough. By dying horribly in one of the following ways: flattened by a Hydrogen powered bus for wandering into traffic, skating right off the skytrain platform and falling the 60 meters or so to my doom or rolling onto the train right-of-way and becoming instant mincemeat. All because I was checking my daytimer and was too airbrained to realize where I was roller-blading.(obtuse old telus ad reference, I *hated* that ad.)

-m

Security

Submission + - Microsoft Downplays Serious IIS Bug Threat

snydeq writes: "Microsoft confirmed that its IIS Web server software contains a vulnerability that could let attackers steal data, but downplayed the threat. The flaw, which involves how Microsoft's software processes Unicode tokens, has been found to give attackers a way to view protected files on IIS Web servers without authorization. The vulnerability, exposed by Nikolaos Rangos, could be used to upload files as well. Affecting IIS 6 users who have enabled WebDAV for sharing documents via the Web, the flaw is currently being exploited in online attacks, according to CERT, and is reminiscent of the well-known IIS unicode path traversal issue of 2001, one of the worst Windows vulnerabilities of the past decade."

Comment Hubris (Score 1) 658

It never fails to amaze me just how much hubris the human race can muster up on its own behalf.

The thing is, if you want to take an actual look at the history of the earth's geological age, and say, use a year as an analogy for how long its been around compared to us, we don't show up till around 5 seconds to midnight December 31. --thank you David Attenborough for that image--

Life on earth will continue blithely on without us. The earth will sweep us off its back as surely as a water-buffalo swats a gnat, with about as much notice, and future palaeontologists will look back at the 'human' era as one of the many branches that was doomed to fail and become extinct .... something just a wee bit more successful than the Neanderthal.

And we thought the dinosaurs were a failure. Take a look at how long they lasted in geological time compared to us so far. I think they win.

Claws down.

Comment Go to the Source and the water is Sweeter (Score 2, Informative) 96

The article in Wired seems to be a 'dumbed down for public consumption' version of an article that appeared in Scientific American in August 2007. The original was authored by Dr Susana Martinez-Conde and Dr Stephen L Macknik, and referred to a study they had completed in 2006. There is a preview available here:

http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=windows-on-the-mind

unfortunately one would have to pay for the whole article as they are a subscription magazine. But the proof is in the preview, and if anyone should want more, I would encourage them to go to their local library and find the magazine there. The article in Scientific American is much more educational.

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