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Journal Journal: To Telemachus... (and a small word from the author) 4

[First, let me take a moment to say thanks to a grateful reader.]

Telemachus (nee "frugalRepairs"): No, your story is exactly the reason that Ask Slashdot exists. I don't feel that there's been any "reversion" at all, and I'm glad you got your hard drive installed successfully! I hope your first hard drive replace has built up your confidence enough so that you will continue to tinker with more hardware.

You can never be to old to become a computer geek, no matter what everyone else says. Men aren't dogs, and can learn new tricks whenever they set their minds to it.

Thanks for the question, and thank you again for the gracious "Thank you" note. (Is that enough thanks, yet?) -- It's readers like you that are the reason I get up and do this job.

Take care!

[ back to your regularly scheduled dead journal space... ]

Seriously folks. Ask Slashdot exists to help the entire range of users, and while I try (and many times fail) to prevent the rank and file of FAQs. Soemtimes "Google" only gives you part of the answer (and many times gives you too large of a haystack in which to find your needle). As always, if you don't like the content, or feel that the stories presented are "beneath" you, feel free to move on to other aspects of the site, or better yet, to submit your own questions to "up the ante" of quality to Ask Slashdot. I have no problems with criticism (even harsh criticism), just as long as it's helpful.

Mindless flames, as always, will be routed to /dev/null...
User Journal

Journal Journal: [POLITICS: Florida, 2004] Oh, no..... 5

...not again!

It's not just that Corrine Brown was censured (although it can be argued, by most diabolical logic, that there was a valid reason for her censure, but this country is already falling along a slippery slope when it comes to fairness in our elections. Florida has had years to get this straightened out, and yet here we are, not even in the home stretch and already rumblings of wrongdoing are being reported by the press. I should be encouraged, however. It is getting reported, which is a far cry from the deafening silence that was experienced before and after the 2000 election. I can only hope that eyes continue to remain on Florida and other states where such shenanigans may be likely, and that the scrutiny applied to the American Voting Process as a whole remains everpresent.

One wonders what might happen if another Florida-like scandal occurs in "Decision 2004".

Odds are, it won't be pleasant.
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Journal Journal: Digital Sundials! 2

Cool! If you are interested in the inner workings, you can get all of the gory details to boot! Thanks to Slashdot reader Saqib Ali for the (inadvertant) pointer.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Collaborative JE Fiction 9

OK, Sam -- here we go! A while ago, I was impressed by RDewald and a piece of off-the-cuff fiction and it reminded me of an old excercise that I used to engage in from my BBS days:

Collaborative Fiction

So I was wondering who would be interested in such an experiment, here on Slashdot, in our journals?

The way I was thinking about doing it is this. We'll try a short story, for a test. If we like doing it, we can try and get more ambitious until we get bored with it. I have a few guidelines to start us off, and am welcoming suggestions from those who are interested.

First off, the list of guidelines, I've thought of:
  • As stated, let's start off with a short story to see how well this works. Depending on the number of participants, we'll do [n] chapters of [n] parts, where [n] is the number of participants. If we get a large number of folks interested in this, we'll limit the number of chapters to 5-10 -- whatever you guys decide.
  • Anything goes in the genre. It will be interesting to see how it starts and how well some of us can weave our characters together into a cohesive plot.
  • Anything goes with your own characters. Treat them as you see fit, however no writing out someone else's characters. You can back them into a wall, but leave the owner a way out (and we're all friends here -- I hope -- so in the interest of drama, if you write a cliffhanger, please communicate with the character owner your intent). Characters whom their creators wash their hands of are free game.
  • We can lay out the story chapters in several different ways. For consistency, however, each part from each different participant will start off as a comment in the journal that starts each chapter. As each part is fleshed out and adjusted in the comments, the JE entry that holds the chapter will be updated with the new text.
  • Chapters can appear here, or we can alternate who starts what chapter among the participants in the comments attached to the previous chapter.
  • Let's get the arrangement and clarifications out of the way, first, before we officially start writing anything.
  • I would have liked to open this up to everyone, but in the interest of focus, I've marked this journal as "Friends and FoFs" -- this will probably be the recommended setting for each chapter unless the majority of you feel differently.

That's all I can think of right now. Let the discussion begin. I'll update this JE with suggestions, ideas and conclusions that get hashed out in the discussion.

Have at it, everyone! :D

So far so good, 3 people have expressed interest:

  • johndiii
  • SamTheButcher
  • Em Emalb
User Journal

Journal Journal: An Inventory of Misleading BushAdmin Quotes on a .Gov Site! 36

When .gov sites like these start showing up, can the Independent Counsels be that far behind?

Well...yes! That particular law was encouraged to expire, and eventually did, on June 30th, 1999.

Still, it makes one wonder what the Justice Department is doing with the resonsibility it reassumed, with the death of the Independent Council Act. Why do we have a website made by the House of Representatives pointing out misleading comments by officials, that led to a war, instead of attempts at impeachments or censure for these same officials?

Hopefully the appearance of such sites means that someone is taking steps to make sure the current administration comes clean on the reasons they were made, in the first place. When such statements lead an invasion of a foreign country, in a war sold on false pretences, I would hope that someone would seek to find those responsible and make them answer to the American people as to why the trust we have place in them, to lead this country, has been so betrayed.

It's not that I want the Independent Counsel act to be reinstated, as was called for by Lieberman to investigate the Plame Affair. It has been used as a partisan weapon once too many times, with the taxpayers footing the bill of political prosecution after political prosecution. However it seems that this administration has been able to coast by on many questionable issues during its run, and in an Election Year, it is high time this administration becomes accountable for the things it has done, during its tenure in power.

Will this happen? Only time will tell...
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Journal Journal: Oh, Dear -- The Things You Can Find in the Bible... 20

Controversial issues, aside, I was pointed to this article, today and just thought I'd share this bit of zen:

...Is this true? Are there actual verses decrying gay marriage? Are they anything like those other Biblical verses, about the rules and regulations surrounding marriage that are making the rounds on the Net right now? Real verses. Actual verses. Verses o' sanctimonious fun. Have you seen them?

Like this: "Marriage shall not impede a man's right to take multiple concubines in addition to his wife or wives." (II Sam 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron 11:21).

Or maybe: "A marriage shall be considered valid only if the wife is a virgin. If the wife is not a virgin, she shall be stoned to death." (Deut 22:13-21) Isn't that cute? Isn't quoting Bible verse fun? Ask your local pastor about that one. ...

Thank God (pun, intended), for the New Testament.

As the differences between New and Old Testament show, things change, ust like things are changing now. Hopefully these changes, in whatever form they finally settle into, are for the better.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Zen Garden of Content Style Sheets 7

So maybe I'm just behind, but I've found the CSS Zen Garden to be one of the best examples of what CSS can do. Why more websites haven't embraced CSS (let's not mention Slashdot, please) amazes me. Of course, CSS does look more verbose than HTML, and I'm wondering if there are any editors out there that can generate compliant CSS that validates while providing a visual interface to the user.

What CSS sites have you seen that push the envelope and make good use of the technology?

With CSS having this kind of capabilities, do you think XHTML/CSS will bring anything new or useful to the table?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Jungalists, Unite! 3

I've been grooving for the past few weeks on Internet Radio. Now these streaming stations might not be for those who dislike breakbeats, bass, and intense sound, but I love this stuff. If you find you think that description satisfies your aural interest, may I present the following links for your perusal:

Hop on board the Jungle Train

24 hour Drum 'n Bass, on the net.

And let's not forget, a long-time fav of mine:

Soma FM!

If anyone knows of other streams that play a decent selection of Atmospheric Jungle, Darkstep, Breakbeat, or similar, please let me know.

This has been a Public Slashdot Announcement. If you hear the sound of deep, thruming bass, do not be alarmed. The system is working as intended.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Did I Wake Up on the Wrong Planet, Today? 14

Now this is just surreal. I had to do a triple take and make sure this wasn't one of those tricky URLs that look like one site but is really another in disguise. Nope, it isn't. If you're counting, that's the fourth take. Now I'm going to go and grab a Mike's Hard Lemonade. Maybe I'll feel better.
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Journal Journal: Democrats -- Remove the Kid Gloves, NOW! 25

The GOP impeached Clinton over "improper sexual conduct", and hounded him over Whitewater with $50 million dollars spent, and a handful of convictions. Might someone have more exact number of convictions that resulted from Whitewater, since the cited article was from 1998? I found this page, but it seems awfully one sided...)

Now we have this gem, picked up by Slashdot , as originally reported by the Boston Globe. I wonder how long it will take the rest of the media to follow suit, if they decide to follow suit at all.

Meanwhile, the media is silent on the possibility of potential Vice Presidential wrong-doings. Do I really have to mention Enron, one of the largest bankruptcies in American history, in to all of this? Probably not, but I'll do it, anyways.

So where is the Democratic outrage in all of this? Where is the media? Why haven't the GOP been catching as much hell as Clinton because of the corruption in our government that appears to extend all of the way to the top?

I don't know, but it's an election year. If it doesn't show up soon, it never will.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Contemplation 5

A man sits thinking
On life and the universe
Writing poetry.
User Journal

Journal Journal: What are We Really Teaching in Our Schools? 10

Something from the submissions bin that I felt wasn't necessarily apropriate for an "Ask Slashdot". Of course, that doesn't mean it won't make a better JE:

Bamafan77 asks: "Earl Mardle's blog entry has gotten me thinking about something that has bothered me for a while -- the state of America's education system. I personally think it's fairly bad way to teach anyone anything and John Taylor Gatto agrees. Mardle links to an essay by Mr. Gatto called the, "The Six Lesson School Teacher",which explains what schools really teach young people and that success in school has little bearing on future success. Oh BTW, John Taylor Gatto was New York 1991 Teacher of the Year, but subsequently resigned after becoming fed up with the system. I only wish I had teachers with the insight of a Mr Gatto or a Marva Collins."

Thanks to Bamafan for the submission.

Have thoughts to share on the above? Please do. That's what Journal's are for. I'm interested in hearing what you all think about this issue.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Using ".*" Almost Always Results in Something You Don't Want 14

OK, this might seem like an unnecessary rant, but I, like this poster have been caught by the ".*" bug when issuing Unix commands. I think it's kind of rediculous that most unix commands will do an UPWARD recursive traversal (thanks to the ".." directory entry) as well as a downwards traversal. Most folks, when dealing with TREE structures only expect the latter, not realizing that the former is always possible.

Why is it that Unix commands, expecially rm, and chmod deal with the ".." directory entry without a specific flag telling them to do so? I think it's downright misleading and this feature will cause more problems than it solves as people learn Unix.

Yes, you can replace ".*" with ".[^.]*", but it's extra typing an unintuitive for most people, so why not add in the extra flag.

Basically, this is me writing a journal entry trying to tell a computer to "Do what I say, not what I mean!"

Bored am I! Move along, now. Nothing to see, here.

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"What the scientists have in their briefcases is terrifying." -- Nikita Khrushchev