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Comment Re:Fascinating Proposition (Score 2, Interesting) 480

Actually, there is a group of people who do not experience dreams: those on certain anti-depressants. I have a friend who was really frustrated about this and trust me, he got MORE than enough sleep.

I can't remember what particular drug he was taking at the time, but it was related to this drug and none of the others he had tried. It was one of the main reasons he quit it.

One explanation could be that the drug had a sedative side-effect or that it somehow blocked it from remembering them. The only thing I know is that he didn't experience them, but with heavy mind-altering drugs like this it could be possible that he actually didn't have dreams.

This particular variant was pretty strong and the resulting lack of dreams was very noticable to him.

To me it doesn't sound like a good idea robbing depressive and anxious people of their dreams.

Comment Re:Universal Solution! (Score 1) 302

I could not let this stand unchallenged, even though it is off topic.

I do not know what penal system you are referring to, but your points are hardly true for any, especially not the US penal system.

Life in prison is by no means a relaxed life, even if extreme measures were to greatly improve the security threats of prison life (if even possible to completely eliminate them). The deprivation of a lot of elements come into play and it has severe social and psychological consequences. You will also have to adapt to the inside society and obey to a whole new set of rules, while loosing touch with the interaction that you use to define yourself on the outside.

The cost-risk analysis of a 'rich and risky life' vs 'relaxed and paid for' does not apply here. You might think it makes sense peering in from the outside, but it is really a too unpredictable situation to be thinking like that.

Prison is not a motivating factor when people enter a criminal career.

The bills don't stop coming, you just aren't able to pay them - usually neither financially nor practically. Had a place to live? Not anymore.
Want to vote? Not anymore.
Convicted for drugs? Hand in your drivers license and forget about student loans.

'PS3 and Xbox on tap' is hardly accurate, and even if it was, it doesn't make prison life a vacation. It does not counter the loss of liberty, goods, heterosexual relationships, your security and your freedom. You might have a few games, but they get old. Fast. A reason gaming consoles are allowed in some prisons is generally not for the good of the inmates, but a system interest. They are really great to make inmates passive.

Drugs in prison are not free, you're paying someone back somehow. Also you're facing prolonged sentences and periods of complete isolation.

The idea that 'sure, I'll just kick back and chill for 8 years, prison life is going to be a blast', is not an accurate description of how it is experienced. The loss of freedom is hard to grasp for a person who has it, as freedom is a lack of restrictions (and not the presence of something), it can be hard to grasp what you have until it's lost.

And when you get out you're not done, the conviction will follow you always and everywhere, limiting your possibilities in life severely.

Please read what I am saying, without erecting a straw man. I accept that we have and must have a penal system, I am only listing realities of current life in prison.

Comment Firewall builder 3.0 (Score 1) 414

I am in no way associated with the Firewall Builder project. It's an application I came across it in the January issue of Linux Journal that sounds like it could solve some of the original poster's issues.

The article is available online, as is of course the project homepage.

I have not used it yet, but it looks promising and sounds like one of the "cool projects" the submitter needs to know about. It gives you a graphical representation, it can deploy configurations via SSH to various machines or to Linksys, D-Link, DD-WRT or OpenWRT devices, Cisco routers and Cisco ASA (PIX) firewalls. It supports IPV4 and IPV6 and the client is available for Windows, OSX, Linux (ubuntu, fedora, debian repositories at least), OpenBSD and FreeBSD.

At least that's what they promise, but it has been in development for some time (1999) so I expect it to be pretty good.

Comment Re:PEBCEK is the issue... (Score 1) 596

Unless you're writing some insanely complex application like a launcher for thermonuclear missiles, you pretty much will have user error as a major instigator of bugs.

A launching system for a thermonuclear missile isn't necessarily very complex, it's just vital that it isn't prone to failure.
I think it's probably a relatively simple system, and hardly comparable to an OS Kernel - which then would then be much more complex.

Any authors of thermonuclear missile control systems are welcome to falsify/verify this claim, assuming your Slashdot karma is more worth to you than your job/future/life. ;)

Until you get your code into the hands of users who - for example - will repeatedly hit the ENTER key wile waiting for a response, you don't have a clue what might happen.

AFAIK, usually the BIOS buffers the keyboard input to prevent this from being a problem. Also a typical program won't take keyboard input until it specifically wants to. This may be simplified, but I hardly think this is a good example of a potential problem.

I do see your (badly communicated) point though; yes - Usability testing is important.

Comment History (Score 1) 1142

Or more specifically, political history. The emergence of the democratic system, the importance of civil rights and what it cost us to get where we are. It might help increase gratitude of what we (in some corners of the world) have, and of what we are so willingly letting go of in the name of security, pre-emptive 'protection' and other moral panics.

Hopefully this could bring more nuance and perspective to the political discussion in this culture of control. Limiting it to (for the sake of the example) 'but they're evil' on one side, and 'the goverment is violating me' on the other, is very unfortunate when there's so much at stake.

Comment Re:This definitely (Score 1) 447

Absolutely, Catholics are christians and believe in Jesus Christ, hence Christians.

I've found the quotes from that old T-shirt quite descriptive:

Protestantism: If shit happens, I have to work harder.
Catholicism: If shit happens, I deserve it.

Personally I'm a pragmatic agnostic, which would be something along the lines of "If shit happens, it doesn't matter if it's the work of a Deity, they don't seem to care about us anyway."


Submission + - Lumina web series launched (

process writes: "This week the first webisode of the Lumina web series launched. It's a 9 part series filmed in Hong Kong and the episodes will be released as free (as in beer) streams on the web. It features Lumina, played by the beautiful JuJu Chan, who's life is suddenly changed when she meets a stranger in her mirror. This makes for some great imagery, using many of the numerous reflective surfaces in Hong Kong. The series was filmed with the Red One, a digital video camera, launched in 2007. The Red One is capable of recording at resolutions up to 4096x2304 pixels, directly to flash or hard disk storage and features an Arri PL lens mount, making it a viable option for smaller independent productions. Interviews with creator Jennifer Thym are available at and various other places. English and Chinese subtitles are up, but Jennifer still needs help with other languages (English is spoken in the series)."

Comment Re:Technically.. (Score 1, Interesting) 362

You're missing the point.

The lawyer asked for proof that HIS CLIENT, Nelson Ivan Serrano, was able to travel across two states and kill four people in the time that prosecutors had alleged.

Not that someone else could do it. The GP points out that this is what Dustin Kolodziej has accomplished and that his claim for the cash will easily be disputed in a court of law. This could be the loophole the lawyer needs to get out of this easily.

I'm not, and I don't know if GP is, saying this is right - but hey, there's law for you

Comment Metallized Shielding Bags (Score 1) 276

Metallized shielding bags, the ones computer components often are delivered in.

You ought to have some lying around, right?

Note that not all anti-static bags are shielded, but usually the ones for RAM and HD have a metal film that effectively creates a faraday cage.

They're the shiny ones. ;)

I learned this when working with RFID used for registering cars passing at tollbooths, the chips and their containers needed to be shielded for transportation to a POS that was on the other side of a tollbooth.

Better for sticking your passport in, less practical for hats.

Comment That's 12:34 8.7.9 (Score 1) 18

for us in Europe (rest of the world?) you insensitive clod.

But we'll be there in a month!

Although I'm biased, I've always thought it makes more sense to order dates with the more precise digit first. (DD/MM/YY).

For chronologically sorting dates represented as integers I guess YYYYMMDD would be handy.

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