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User Journal

Journal Journal: Merry Fucking New Year

Thanks for the downward mod bomb AC asshole. (Downmods in my own JEs?) It'll take more than that to shut me up though. My purpose here is just to talk about whatever I feel like. ESPECIALLY the less popular views (only on /.) I hold: (George W. Bush is an ass, I like Linux, I don't care for Microsoft's business practices or software, I like GNU, I'm not a liberal but I have liberal views, I am not a "commie" but I believe that there is a point where the right to make a profit needs to bow to human rights and the good of humanity, the only thing we need to concern ourselves is the welfare of all humanity, etc...) So have at me AC mother fucker. You can't shut me up. Try as you might.

That is all

User Journal

Journal Journal: Let's talk about music 15

Just some mental noodling about music here:

I really wish I understood why the American music scene is so horribly dead. There are a few acts here or there that are decent, but you really have to dig deep. And as far as an electronica presence goes, we are WAY behind Europe and the UK.

I guess right off the bat, I should say that I HATE rock for the most part. There are some decent bands every once in a while, but many of the most popular ones seem to lack melody, humor or seriousness depending on what I'm looking for. I've always been a fan of anything electronic going all the way back to the 80s. Almost anything that is... the early 90s had a bad start with some really lame "house" wannabes.

Now the US is mired in grind core, schlock like X-Tina, Britney, Beyonce and the Backdoor Boys. We've also got goofy, lame-o neo-punk which doesn't touch the passion and emotion of the original stuff. Retard/Wino punk (like Sockeye and Suckdog) are much more interesting than crap like Greenday. What irks me even more is signature all American bands that have the same cookie cutter "rock" sound. There is no uniqueness in any of those acts. Christ, there's more individuality in acts like ATB, D.J. Tiesto and Paul VanDyk. (I love those acts, but even I will admit that they can sound very similar at times) But the American rock band is such a cliche now, it's ridiculous.

You know what the problem is... the shit that passes for "hip-hop" these days. Back in the day when hip-hop was real, we had Digable Planets and De La Soul. Now we have stupid whiteboys and prepackaged plastic girls in multicolors. Don't even get me started on the supposed "hard azzes" of rap. Especially where wiggers are concerned.

It seems like all the stupid idiot types who were into heavy metal for the hardass quotient back in the 80s (my high school days) are now the wiggers trying to be Eminem, Kidd Rock or any other "flavah of da month". Since these performers claim to speak to the people who come from the hard life (yeah right) and hard living, these idiots want to emulate that. All for some stupid macho attitude or something. Why dont you "gangstaz" go to the REAL 'hood and see how long you can make it without pissing your pants? I've had to work in real slums in dangerous situations surrounded by real gang bangers. It's not something to aspire to. If you havent' had to deal with it, you don't want to. And I'll tell you that I did it without "packing heat". I know you wigger dorks would be scared shitless in that situation. I had my own concerns and I know I'm loads braver than any wigger with attitude.

OK.. getting off topic... back to music. Here's what I like in terms of genre:

1. Electronic (Space Music, Techno, Electronica, Trance, etc...)
2. Jazz (Introspective/Euro, Some fusion)
3. Real Punk (Sex Pistols all the way through to the Pixies and some of the newer Retard punk bands)
4. Ethereal/Gothic/Dark Wave (Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, pretty much any 4AD act that doesn't rock excluding the Pixies)
5. Some Classical
6. Industrial (KMFDM, RevCo, Ministry... again pretty much anything on WaxTrax)
7. Some garage punk like My Dad is Dead for example
8. Soundtrack music (mostly electronic by Sakamoto, Isham (except the ER stuff), etc...)

And lest anyone go around calling me a "poser" like some anonymous ass did a few months ago. I've been into this stuff since the 80s and REALLY just like the music. I don't care about the associated images or anything as superficial as that. This stuff is just really good music. I am also quite opinionated and have no problem offending people if I don't like what they listen to. I acknowledge that music tastes are a very personal choice, but I'm not going to let that stop me from saying that something YOU like sucks in my opinion. At best, I tolerate other people's taste in music. You have every right to listen to what you want to, but you have no right convince me that it's any good. The same can be applied to me too in the inverse.

That's what makes music tastes so interesting to me. As usual, one man's treasure if another's trash.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Some idiot modbombed me

No matter you fuck. It didn't hurt my karma in the least. Have at me mother fucker.

While we're on the topic of bad manners at /., please note the following anti BSD troll a friend of mine concocted. It's stupid as hell, but it had it's moments. He hasn't posted it yet because he doesn't care all that much, and I CAN'T post it as AC so any other folks who want to start some fires can feel free to copy it. (I won't be too surprised if no one uses it, but it's fun to see so many swear words strugn together. Especiallyu when it pisses people off. They're only words folks.) It's way to profane for me to post non-AC. After all, I'm not a troll. Note, just so no one gets REALLY pissed at me, I like BSD and Linux and I use Windows (if I really have to) with no problem. To me they are just tools with my preference for home use leaning towards Linux exept where professional/semit-professional audio and video production are concerned. I am not responsible for the err... "opinions" expressed in the following:

You GODDAMED piece of FUCKING shit! Why don't you go and suck off your momma's teat like you always do when confronted by a real man! I've been using Linux for going on ten years and it IS WAY "LEETER" than your piece of shit molasses OS BSD. BSD is for fucking wankers you cock sucker! No one fucking USES BSD because you can't do SHIT with BSD. BSD IS A SERVER OS! Not a desktop OS. Why are you fags still using XFree86 3? Why do you guys have horrible security that makes sure that only root can do anything by default instead of putting the power where it belongs! IN the hand of the user! Why do you use pathetic ports collection to try and dream of having what Linux has?! YOu don't have any apps that anyone wants to use, you can't run programs like VMWare or Usermode Linux and you don't have kernel modules. BUt the biggest flaw of all!!! NO ONE WRITES A DECENT DRIVER for the latest and greatest hardware for your pathetic turd of an OS! Want to use a Radean All-In-Wonder? NOPE!!! OH SO SORRY!!! You CAN'T because there is NO DRIVER for it!!! Want to make a PVR? Oh so sorry!!! You CAN'T because there is no MythTV or Freevo for BSD! Want to do something more than play with your cock while letting your BSD box be a Quake server? Oh sooo sorry!!! You CAN'T because no one has the time to port to your piddly assed OS!! Want to use MPlayer, possibly THE greatest media player for any OS hands down??! Oh SO SORRY! You are completely out of luck because your OS is only worth the leavings that your momma used to make every month before you were conceieved!! Get a REAL OS you shithead. Even Windows XP is a far cry greater than BSD and that's not saying much. Spend some time with Linux and you will see the light... if you aren't totally retarded and don't have menstrual fluid and shit mixed together in your head for brains. But I doubt it, it sounds to me like you are a pussy ass stupid fuck piecec of wankdropping that no one loves and has no hope of ever getting above a 30 IQ rating. Go let the doctor plug you back into your machine. You shouldn't be typing anything because your an invalid. Stupid fucking turd wanker pussy fuck. Linux is the best OS EVAR!!!!

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Goal Pt. 2

Not much to say that I didn't say in my post in the Spam Rage replies. Check it out and let me know what you think.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Fascism 12

Interesting bit from http://www.aladdin.com/

-----

THE IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTICS OF FASCISM

By Dr. Lawrence Britt
Free Inquiry Magazine / Spring 2003

Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, studied the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia), and Pinochet (Chile). He found the regimes all had 14 things in common, and he calls these the identifying characteristics of fascism. The article is titled 'Fascism Anyone?', and appears in Free Inquiry's Spring 2003 issue on page 20.

The 14 characteristics are:

      1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism -- Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
      2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights -- Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need". The people tend to 'look the other way' or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
      3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause -- The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
      4. Supremacy of the Military -- Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
      5. Rampant Sexism -- The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.
      6. Controlled Mass Media -- Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or through sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in wartime, is very common.
      7. Obsession with National Security -- Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
      8. Religion and Government are Intertwined -- Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
      9. Corporate Power is Protected -- The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
    10. Labor Power is Suppressed -- Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely or are severely suppressed.
    11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts -- Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.
    12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment -- Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses, and even forego civil liberties, in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
    13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption -- Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions, and who use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
    14. Fraudulent Elections -- Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against (or even the assassination of) opposition candidates, the use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and the manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

-----

I know a lot of kids ask this, but... "Are we there yet?"

Movies

Journal Journal: Some video capture tips from semi-clueful n00b 3

I know the pros are going to skewer me for some of this stuff, but hey... it's what I've learned so far.

This entry was spurred on by a question from Azghoul in this thread.

What follows is just some prety basic info on where I am today with my media capture project. I've been working on freeing myself from dependence on physical media and only retaining data on my servers at home. This, of course, means I followed the usual path of CDs to WAV in the early 90s, then MP3 in the mid 90s and more recently Ogg Vorbis in the early 00s. As it is, I've got that part (as I'm sure many folks do) down pat. I will say, that I'm not a file sharing person because as much as I dislike the RIAA and the music industry, I feel that as long as laws are such as they are, it's not worth the risk. I will also admit that I've downloaded music from file sharers at times to try and find something new. But there is very little out there that is of any interest. That is my second reason for buying everything that I've ripped.

Movies are an entirely different proposition. What I've done there is a little different from what I've done with music. I tend to buy DVDs these days and then rip them to archive on my server so I can watch them on any of the computers (including the one connected to my TV) in the house. It works out pretty well, but you have to consider that I got my "infrastructure" in place when I moved in. (Cat 5 to every room that needs a computer)

My first foray into video capture was in 1997 with the Hauppauge (pronounced Hop-hog for those who are curious) WinTV PCI (bt848 chipset) card. I remembered that it was just a cool toy to play with back then. It was neat, but the files I got from it were huge and needed to be compressed after capture instead of on the fly. (There are pros and cons to both approaches) In general I was more interested in the card for web cam type stuff with my camcorder than video capture. But eventually, I started capturing some of my old VHS music video tapes and cleaning them up a bit before compressing to MPEG with a DOS based compressor. I hadn't quite started to play with Linux yet.

After that, I was attracted to the ATI TV cards based on the Rage 3D chips. Still using Windows, I didn't realize that their PVR features (circa 1998) used a proprietary codec until I went on a trip and took some TV shows with me on my laptop. They were AVI files, but they wouldn't display video. Eventually, I found codecs from ATIs web site that I could install on my laptop. It was kind of an annoyance and made me research my next purchases a little better.

I moved onto a few other models of capture card (Pinnacle being about the worst I ever tried) with varying degrees of success and failure until I hit upon the ATI Radeon All-in-Wonder. (Where do the PR folks come up with these crappy names?) I was very impressed with the non-capture features in both Windows and Linux. As I am an avid fan of Quake and Unreal, these cards worked extremely well. After playing around for a while with the GATOS project, I even got the video capture and TV out working in the X window system. :) But this card had it's problems too... It was a host based MPEG capture card. You could capture in uncompressed AVI or various MPEG1 and MPEG2 formats. The problem was that this was realtime software based compression and even on my PIII 800 it would drop frames if I went above 320x240. This was acceptable for my PVR needs, but not for archival purposes. Another more glaring issue was that the audio would get out of sync with the video after about 20-30 minutes. This was due to the fact that the sound and video streams are being recorded from two different sources: the sound card and the video capture board. It's difficult for a P III 800 to do everything else it needs to do during capture AND keep the audio in sync. Sooo... back to the drawing board.

Earlier this year, I decided to try Hauppauge again (I didn't really care for their products after my first card because they are pretty amateurish. Of course so is ATI.) because they had a DSP based MPEG capture card. I bought the PVR-250. Again, I started off playing with this one under Windows since I wasn't sure about the Linux support for it. I was very impressed with the capture abilities. It went into my P III 800 and I could capture at any resolution up to "High Definition" without any dropped frames. All the processing to MPEG and capture is done completely on the card and in realtime straght to disk. (The con here is that you CAN'T capture uncompressed video. So if you want some really high quality source video, this isn't for you. You're better off with a bt848 based board if you need uncompressed video.) The card also features it's own audio input which completely solved the audio sync problem. The software that comes with the PVR-250 is cheezy to say the least, but it works about 90% of the time. They really need to make a separate app for more serious users, but this is a consumer board so that probably won't happen. When Windows 9x is being fairly stable, this system works fairly well as a PVR, although I am very angry at the DirecTV folks for not making a PCI version of their satellite tuner. Yeah yeah... I know I could buy their PVR/Reciever, but then it's more of a pain to get it hooked up to my network and store the recordings on my server.

I had a very brief encounter with an Adaptec PCI capture board and was very disappointed. You could only use it with their REALLY dumbed down software. (The Hauppauge also won't work with other software capture programs that want raw video BTW) But the Apadtec software was kind of like playing with Teletubbies compared to Hauppauge's Legos.

Over time here's kind of what I learned:
1. You want a card that has it's own audio input to avoid sync problems. Or a LOT of CPU power. I would still recommend the built in audio input.
2. Depending on what your needs are, there are pros and cons to hardware and software based MPEG capture boards.
3.If you need high quality uncompressed video, go with a board that can capture to AVI with no compression. If you just need quick decent quality MPEG, go with a hardware based MPEG board.
4. If you have the CPU horsepower, you can go with software based MPEG capture, but I don't recommend it at all.
5. For simple PVR functionality, go with a Tivo or the like. If you want something more complex, try the Hauppauge PVR series. (I think they might be phasing them out, not sure). If you're after a bargain... forget it. PVR is still expensive whether it's a set top box or a PC based system with any decent quality.

As far as Linux goes, there's still a little bit of work to be done. I've played around with a few editors and capture programs. They are OK, but cumbersome. I haven't seen anything with a really decent interface on Windows or Linux though. The best thing going for prosumer level stuff is Premiere for a good interface, or Sony Vegas or Movie Blast for relatively low cost and non-proprietary codecs. Or at least files that can be viewed on multiple platforms. I tend to prefer MPEG2 at the moment because I know it works on Linux, Macintosh and Windows. DiVX does too and has smaller files but seems a little steeped in controversy. I keep hoping the the Ogg Theora project will move along at a nice pace. :)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Does ANYONE learn to drive these days? 14

In my daily commute to work and on weekends out to the shops, I often wonder... has everyone forgotten their driving school lessons?

One personal pet peeve is the number of people who seem to be oblivious to the 'one car length for every ten miles an hour' rule. It's pretty simple, but no one seems to follow it anymore. If you are going 50, then you should maintain five car lengths between you and the driver in front of you. However, it seems more like people are translating that to one inch for every ten miles an hour based on what I see in my rear view mirror.

I've wondered for a while why people are so horrible at driving and have come to the conclusion that besides the most obvious idiots who think they own the road and the clueless spacey driver, there is a large segment of scared drivers. They seem to think that all other drivers on the road are out to get them. So they drive over the speed limit, cut people off to try and get away from them and then freak out when something they've done gets them in a near accident. On top of that, you have the people who think that being in an SUV is somehow safer (another sign of fear). So my question... why are so many people afraid?

Personally, I follow the speed limit, stop at all signs completely regardless of whether there are cars or pedestrians there or not and try to maintain that special car length distance. If someone is tailgating me, I slow down about five miles per hour slower until they pick up on the fact that their urgency is not shared by me. Does it keep me from having accidents? No. I've had a few in my driving career. But, I will say that following the rules seems to be a sure way to minimize the risks.

People who shoot the gap and talk about being "offensive drivers" are only making excuses for selfish bad driving. The argument that if you are going faster, you are in less danger because you're a moving target is ridiculous. If anything you are in more danger because of what happens when your car inevitably meets a solid object at rest. At least if you are going the speed limit or slower, you have more control over your car and where it goes thus preventing you from injuring yourself and other.

What say you?

UPDATE: Whoops. I need an editor. That was supposed to be offensive driving. Sorry folks.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Is Anoymous Coward REALLY anonymous? 3

Of course Slashdot has the ability to ban by IP address if a user's posts get moderated negatively in a short period of time, but how far are they willing to go to reveal the identity of a user? How are they willing to use the IP address info (and possibly user id) to prevent abuse?

I raise the question because recently, I've posted some way over the top trolls as an AC that have gotten moderated down very quickly. What I then noticed was that shortly after doing so and getting the negative mods in quick succession, was that I would lose the ability to post any more in the specific story I had just trolled. This would last about 20-30 minutes, then normal posting owuld resume. Which leads me to believe that Taco and company are working out new anti-troll methods. Has anyone else noticed this?

I also wonder whether or not a troll who posts something of questionable legality as an AC (link to illegal data, a threat to a public official, etc...) is really that anonymous. It used to be in the old days that anyone could say anything or post anything they wanted on Usenet and there were no repercussions. But with today's litiginous society and post 9/11 terror fears, you have to wonder if anyone has made certain types of posts on public forums (even posted anonymously) illegal. If so... then it is a sad day for pranksters and agitators. Does anyone know if things posted anonymously on a public (privately owned) board like this are subject to various laws? IANAL and I expect that none of my /. friends are either... ;P

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Some folks have no sense of humor 3

It's depressing to see people who take everything so seriously. Especially on /. I remember way back in the day (1997) with my first /. account, I used to read /. pretty much for the fun interaction that was had by all. There was lots of good natured trolling and plenty of pranks. The people who took everything *SOOOO SERIOUSLY* were just a minority. Of course there were times to take things seriously, but that was pretty infrequent, and I think we all know what self professed geeks take seriously to begin with.

This journal entry was sparked by seeing that "The Bungi" (one of my favorite targets) discontinued his journal a while back by claiming that /. had gone to ruin. I agree that it may be going to ruin, but we apparently have two totally different views on the matter. He saw it as being less of a serious place and that all of the trolling and pranks happening now were detracting from it's appeal. He also left his "parting shot" directed at the open source crowd by saying that it's filled with teenagers and retards, not realizing that many of us are adults who are quite intelligent but enjoy a good laugh at his expense. After all, how seriously can you take someone on /. who hasn't, at least, tried open source? He is right about one thing though. Technology and religion don't mix. That's why technology should be distanced far from capitalism. The brand of capitalism that is preached today should be considered a religion.

Operating Systems

Journal Journal: File Systems and Users 5

I know I'm not the only one who's been thinking about the topic of file systems and computers. But recently I got a pretty good parallel in the real world to compare file systems with and why so many regular users have trouble with computers.

Knowing how to get around a file system on a computer is pretty much the equivalent of being able to remember how to get from your house to work in your car. You make a mental map of the route (based on a number of elements unique to each individual: more on that later). Without this ability, getting to work (or anywhere else for that matter) would be pretty much impossible. It took you a while to get to that point. When you first started driving, maybe it was only to your friend's house a few blocks away. Then as you got older, you started going farther and farther. You got familiar with more locations near your home, your city, your state, and then maybe even made cross-country trips in your car. You also probably needed a map at times.

When I am dealing with users who are new to computers, the one skill that seems to be the hardest to impart to them is getting around the file system. It doesn't matter what OS they are using, this particular skill seems to be very hard to acquire. To me, these all pretty much mean the same thing:

Mac OS - music:mp3s
*nix - /music/mp3s
DOS/Windows - C:\music\mp3s

But to the average user, there seems to be some confusion. They may "get" the three simple examples above when you explain it to them. But when they are at the critical moment by themselves, and need to go somewhere other than the examples you showed, panic of frustration ensue. A lot like the folks who had trouble with math when they would go home and the math problems were manipulations of the basic form.

If computers are ever going to get easier to deal with, one of two things needs to happen:

1. File systems need to become more intuitive
2.Users need to understand the hierarchical concept clearly

I think understanding where their files are is important to users otherwise a computer doesn't do them much good at all. Just like a car wouldn't be of much value if someone just had to drive around town randomly hoping to find theplace where they work.

There are projects in both the free and non-free software worlds that are hoping to solve this problem. Notably, Microsoft's WinFS and GNOME's Filesystem projects are the most visible. The concept being that a user need not know the name or type of file they want, they simply need to know some key words and facts about the file. "The e-mail I was composing this morning" "The pictures from the Australian vacation taken in 2002" "All movies with Kieffer Sutherland", etc... Hence the need for a database backend to abstract the underlying filesystem. A noble approach, and one likely to succeed in the future. But it doesn't help us today. In the interim, I firmly believe it is an essential and required skill to navigate a file system if a computer is to be a truly useful tool.

I believe that the barriers to this are many:

1.The Windows drive letter paradigm
2.Multiple file selector interfaces in all Oses (Compare WinDVD and WinAmp)
3.Inconsistent metaphors (File | Open in a standard application, Eject button or folder icon in a media player to call up a file seelector)
4.The average user's difficulty in memorizing a path to a file.
5.Kludges like Windows shortcuts and symbolic links to circumvent the navigation problem.

And doubtless, there are many more obstacles.

To get around these obstacles, I believe the user must have a clear grasp of the concept of directory hierarchy. Much like people at one time were perplexed by steering wheels in combustion automobiles, this new concept is something that must be layed out clearly for users who are stuggling with computers. Eventually they will "get it" if they are exposed to it enough in non-threatening situations.

I have much more to say on the subject, but I will stop here for now as I think a discussion among those who are intersted will bring much of what I have to say (as well as the thoughts of others) out.

Thank You for Reading,
T4D

User Journal

Journal Journal: Ann Who? 9

While Ann Coulter may have made a big splash with the morans out there... she hasn't actually done or said anything respectively productive or provocative. Of course that's just my "liberal bias". ;P
User Journal

Journal Journal: Rob Enderly is the Bill O'Reilly of the IT press 4

I read Rob Enderle's slash and burn piece on "Linux Zealots" today and posted this response:

It doesn't matter what side you are on. When there are opposing views, the people on both sides will resort to true zealotry while at the same time accusing others of zealotry when they are simply advocating. In reality, one side's "advocate" is another side's "zealot". It could be argued that Enderle, himself, is a zealot for the Windows camp.
The real issues:
1. Microsoft exists solely for profit. Their technology is mostly bits and pieces bought from other companies and integrated into their prodcuts. We all know how DOS came about and that's pretty much been Microsoft's approach from day one. Microsoft is a business.
2. Linux exists as a labor of love for some people. Think about it. Why are all of these developers spending their time hacking the kernel, the drivers, and the applications that make up a typical GNU/Linux distribution? Some of them do it because they get paid, so there is some profit motive. But by and large, it's soley because these folks love computers and love to code. Linux is not a business (even though there are businesses based on it).
In our capitalist society, the only reason for being for many people is to make money. Since a lot of people (people who would support Microsoft or SCO for example) have accepted that as the way to "make it" in our society they feel threatened when there is something that they can't easily capitalize. It makes them feel threatened and they begin to find ways to try and attack it in the hopes that it will either fail or that it will change and fall into line with their view of the world.
As the subject line states, everyone has an agenda. My agenda is a personal one. I may be rare, but I don't think I'm that rare. I see coding and working with Linux at home as no different than the man who has a wood shop and makes his own furniture with no intention of making a profit from it. It's done for the love of a craft. And it's also done for convenience and possibly frugality. With all the things my computers at home do for me (Nearly 100% Linux based), I would have had to spend tens of thousands of dollars on commercial software. The only thing I've had to spend on my systems currently is my time. And considering that I love working with computers, it was more of a pleasure than a burden.
Enderle has an agenda too. It's fairly clear from his articles that he despises Linux. I can't speak for the man's personal interests, but I would also guess he's one of the folks who believes in capitalism lock, stock and barrel. He makes some very strong statements about Linux based on his interactions with a small, vocal segment of the Linux community. He said this himself in the article. His agenda is clearly in support of Microsoft. And what he does say about Linux tends to be very negative. From the perspective of a happy Linux user, Enderle is also a zealot. Which, by his own reckoning, would also make him a terrorist. (How do you like that Enderle?) My point? Anyone who strongly and vocally supports an opposing view is going to be seen as a "zealot".
In the end it comes down to this:
One man's advocate is another man's zealot. Congrats Enderly, you just undid yourself.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Woohoo! I got MODBOMBED!! 3

First of all... I see from my sensors that we have a couple of clueless mods on board. Hello. Hello wherever you are. I just want to make it perfectly clear that you are not at all welcome. I've worked hard to get where I am today, and I'm not about to let some degenerate, humour impaired moderators take that away from me. I've sent out my DDOS henchmen and when they find you, they are going to take you and throw you into the vaccum of real life. No more internet access for you.

Now that that's out fo the way. I just want to say that in Soviet Russia, I welcome our new Beowulf Cluster-having overlords who come to us with hot grits in their pants and bearing tons and tons of photos of Natalie Portman naked and petrified. ;P You can hate me, but you can NEVER make me go away.

Addendum: I dare whoever modded me down (someone at Slashdot most likely) to try and keep me from accessing Slashdot. You can't. I will keep coming back and being a trolling bastard (even though I'm not really a troll) if it annoys you so much.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Feh! /. ate my last journal entry 4

STUPID FUCKING /. FUCKED ME OVER. I posted a particularly well written JE earlier today that I worked on for a good hour and a half. Well, I clicked the submit button and it APPEARED to work. But it didn't because when I checked back later, it WASN'T HERE!!! FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!!!! If I ever get inspired to rewrite the whole thing over again, you might see it. But for now, this is a big FUCK YOU to the problems I've been having with /. as of late. Have you folks been noticing difficulties in posting to /. lately?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Telemarketers (spread the meme) 2

In light of the fact that the Do Not Call list has been successfully delayed, my wife and I have taken a new approach with telemarketers and we'd like to spread the idea around to other folks.

Being a former prank phone caller, I was very disappointed when caller ID was implemented and it took away my fun. Of course I was in high school at the time and have since found other outlets for my parnks ( /. being one of them! :) ) At the same time the calls from telemarketers started increasing and were getting on my nerves. Then one day it hit me. There really isn't much difference between a prank phone call and a telemarketing call from my perspective. In both situations, I have a stranger dangling on the other end of the phone. So I began to look at telemarketing calls as a chance to play. And play is exactly what I've done for the past several years.

One approach is to lure a sales call in and make sure they give you the whole pitch. After they're done, you just say, "I'm sorry. I didn't quite understand. Would you mind repeating that"? They're usually good for two repetitions of the pitch after which they get frustrated.

Another is to interrupt them with nonsense. One of my favorites is to say, "Hey look. I was downtown this morning and a Brink's truck happened to pass by and drop a shitload of cash on the ground. I grabbed as much as I could and brought it home with me. I'd be willing to split it with you if you give me your boss's home phone number." After which they typically chuckle and then try to get bak to the pitch. I then tell them again, "Look. I'm serious! I've got... oh I don't know... probably close to 250 thou. That means 125 big ones could be yours. All ya gotta do is give me the boss's phone number." By that point I usually get a manager on the phone who breaks into the call and says, "This call is terminated." and then hangs up the phone. It's hilarious. (I need to record these things with a preamble warning them that they may be recorded.)

Speaking of preambles, here is my latest twist. I state this before a telemarket completes their call:

"You have two choices. You can be a human being and hang up now, or you can choose to support your employer and press on with the call. If you choose to continue your telemarketing call, any unpleasantness is not personally directed at you but is directed at your management and the executives that run your place of employment. Telemarketing is an unpleasant job and it is my duty to make it even more unlpeasant in the hope that this business will die out." After that it's open season. :)

I'm not usually a nasty/mean person, but telemarketing calls for extreme measures. However, the way I look at it, most of the time I'm entertaining to the telemarketers. Only when I am obscene are the telemarketers displeased. However, I will say this to my Slashdot fans, think of it as trolling in real life. Again, I will state that I am not a troll, but I troll sometimes for pleasure.

Now my friends, cook up some ideas of your own and we can get this big ball o' nasty rolling down the hill at the telemarketing industry. Make sure to pass this along to friends and family. Together, we can kill the telemarketing industry if we try hard enough because no one wants to be insulted all day.

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