Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Journal Journal: 5 other ideas to replace gun control 21

In light of the recent tragedies, gun control is in the news again. Classic gun control is about controlling either weapon or ammo. But here are 5 potential laws that could prevent gun violence by controlling people rather than guns:
1. Metal detectors in every public building, set high enough to prevent false positives but low enough to catch an AR-15, tied into the fire alarm system. Evacuate if it goes off, depriving the shooter his victims.
2. Tie mental health records into police records, and create a no-sell database that can be accessed by smartphone using bar code reading of official ID and merely returns a sell or don't sell return. Make it mandatory for all gun sellers and gun shows, including private sales.
3. Divorce is a danger sign that somebody's life is becoming unstable. 8 murder suicides in Oregon since 2008 were linked to divorce. Filing for divorce should trigger a temporary gun confiscation for both spouses, and should be grounds for a search warrant. Likewise, while often less violent, widowers are in danger of suicide and should be watched closer.
4. Better depression support. As our society becomes more secular, we are losing the emotional support that religion provides. There should be support for those who fall into despair, and there is not. The fact that most incidents lately end with the suicide of the shooter is an indication of the real problem.
5. RFID tags on all weapons and any other valuable property. If stolen, these tags should be the type that can be read at a distance. They should be waterproof, very hard to remove, and be handed out for free by law enforcement; scanners should be able to be purchased by the public as well as used by law enforcement.

There is some cost to this. As there is for everything. But the benefits of these 5 laws is important. And solves other problems than the original, so should be done anyway.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Anybody else go through a job change recently? 3

The only people I specifically told about my contract ending were here, where I'm relatively anonymous, my consulting company, my family, and a posting on (where I didn't even list when the contract is ending, and my profile is still "Submitted for Approval"). Despite this, word must have leaked: I have had 8 recruitment calls in the past 30 hours, plus a smattering of e-mails from people who apparently either don't understand no relocation or can't read a map and think that Ohio is within commuting distance of Oregon.

Is this the new normal or did I cross a line with 17 years in the industry?

User Journal

Journal Journal: Well, Obama has killed my contract 8

As I wondered if it would happen. The uncertainty created means the telecom I've been hired out to has decided to cut contractor dollars out of the budget- I wonder how long they'll be able to continue taking orders on this ancient VB6/SQL ordering system that is already giving me a full time job trying to keep it running. They've got about 60% of the functionality already replaced with web apps though, so I think they'll do ok, releasing new web apps as needed when functionality breaks.

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt rule the end of the American Empire, and out of the ruins I see distributism growing.

So in the comments section, I would appreciate recommendations for cheap-to-free development tools and cheap training for the following:
1. Android and iOS platforms- because I think Windows 8 is going to turn into the stinking turd that finally kills Microsoft
2. SQL Lite - I think, but I'm not sure, that is the database that links those two platforms
3. Recommendations between Azure, Amazon, and Google cloud development; because I've got a drop dead easy two database table non-relational cloud project ready to go that would make an excellent training project (and eventually maybe even some recurring license fees).

User Journal

Journal Journal: Pope Leo XIII had it right 12

More than 126 years ago, he did Libertarianism right, long before the Randroids and the Von Mises Institute got it wrong:


10. From this it is manifest that the eternal law of God is the sole standard and rule of human liberty, not only in each individual man, but also in the community and civil society which men constitute when united. Therefore, the true liberty of human society does not consist in every man doing what he pleases, for this would simply end in turmoil and confusion, and bring on the overthrow of the State; but rather in this, that through the injunctions of the civil law all may more easily conform to the prescriptions of the eternal law. Likewise, the liberty of those who are in authority does not consist in the power to lay unreasonable and capricious commands upon their subjects, which would equally be criminal and would lead to the ruin of the commonwealth; but the binding force of human laws is in this, that they are to be regarded as applications of the eternal law, and incapable of sanctioning anything which is not contained in the eternal law, as in the principle of all law. Thus, St. Augustine most wisely says: "I think that you can see, at the same time, that there is nothing just and lawful in that temporal law, unless what men have gathered from this eternal law."(5) If, then, by anyone in authority, something be sanctioned out of conformity with the principles of right reason, and consequently hurtful to the commonwealth, such an enactment can have no binding force of law, as being no rule of justice, but certain to lead men away from that good which is the very end of civil society.

  Libertas-- Pope Leo XIII

User Journal

Journal Journal: Sandy and Corporate Greed 14

Millions of houses on the East Coast of the United States have been destroyed.

Millions of houses in the rest of the country sit in banks' foreclosure inventories.

Isn't there even ONE bank out there willing to find a solution that lets displaced families move into houses in areas where the hurricane didn't touch?

User Journal

Journal Journal: For Troll Tuesday 1

I got a first post in and without even mentioning Christianity or God (but I did mention atheism and moral relativity, well, sexual immorality at least) I got several hundred replies and spawned a HUGE discussion on sexual morality.

I call that a troll win even if it sends my Karma into the negatives. No, given the fact that after several years of wanting moderator points and getting them every other 'freakin day, it's a troll win ESPECIALLY if it sends my Karma into the negatives.

User Journal

Journal Journal: 21st Century survivalism 12

Given the current use of drones by the American government, and the strong possibility that no matter who wins in November, sometime in the next 20 years we WILL face a situation where the American President feels the need to use drones to defend the rich against the poor (which group of poor, of course, depends on the political party in power at the time, we were never at war with Eurasia, we are now at war with Eastasia), it's time to start thinking about an adequate defense mechanism that everybody can afford.

And I think I know what it is, taking a play out of the book of Winston Churchill, scaled down to the modern drone/rc toy:
Mylar balloons, filled with hydrogen cracked out of water with solar power, tethered to the ground with 30,000 foot reels of 2-lb test monofiliment line.
Create a wide enough perimeter around your town/commune/church/union hall (once again, the target depends upon who is in power at the time) and you won't have to worry about the Drone Wars. Or those pesky passenger jets either.

United States

Journal Journal: Voting for the Soul Rather than To Win 4

Many left and right wingers believe the twin contradictory myths that voting third party is a wasted vote or a malevolent vote (in the first case, because the third party candidate can never win, in the second, because they think votes for a third party candidate mean that the mainstream candidate with the opposite view has a better chance of winning). Being the type of political Catholic with no home whatsoever in the major political parties (for instance, one of my pro-life views is that the children of a rape should be allowed to live, something the GOP has just come out AGAINST), I often get the argument from one side or the other for voting for their favorite lizard.

But an interesting theological argument I've been presented with from Mark Shea is that voting isn't about who wins the election- It is instead about integrity, conscience, and my ability to live with myself. Which puts an entirely different spin on my answer to such people- and gives me reason behind my historical tendency to NOT vote for the major parties in Presidential elections.

I still don't know if I should throw my vote to Virgil Goode of The Constitutional Party, whose only down side seems to be a bad case of anti-Mexican Racism, or Jimmy McMillan of The Rent Is Too Damn High Party, who seems to be a bit of a moral relativist (in that he's against gay marriage but is ok with gay civil unions saying that "A man should be allowed to marry a shoe if he wants to"). But I'm damned sure I don't like Obama/Biden's drone war and war on Catholicism, and I'm equally skeptical of Romney/Ryan's flip flops on major moral issues depending on who they are giving a speech to.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Why Greed hasn't worked 3

I've been told I post too many left wing stories. But The left wing isn't the only group warning about our excessive spending and our collective, government AND private, has created a civilization in bankruptcy. Pennies before people has created a civilization of material wealth that we cannot afford.
We are in a civilization that is bankrupt, both morally and financially. Our ONE possible solution here in the US is to build local economies, based on friendship, not national economies based on the federal government.
Oh, and that video will also tell you 5 other areas you really should be researching right now!

User Journal

Journal Journal: Communism, Capitalism, and Austrians are not the only option 55

First, a quote from the Venerable Fulton Sheen (Ok, you all KNEW I was a Catholic, right?):

âoeBut the reforms of communism are wrong, because they are inspired by the very errors they combat. Communism begins with the liberal and capitalistic error that man is economic, and, instead of correcting it, merely intensifies it until man becomes a robot in a vast economic machine. There is a closer relation between communism and monopolistic capitalism than most minds suspect. They are agreed on the materialistic basis of civilization; they disagree only on who shall control that basis, capitalists or bureaucrats. . . Capitalistic economy is godless; communism makes economics God. It is Divinity itself. Capitalism denies that economics is subject to a higher moral order. Communism says that economics is morality. The Communist solution of the problem is like the cynical way Oscar Wilde suggested a woman can reform a man: "The only way a woman can reform a man is by boring him so completely that he loses all possible interest in life."

"I'm going to plead with you therefore, not to be bored in Life. The reason we are bored is because we don't LOVE anything."

+Venerable, Fulton J. Sheen +JMJ+ [1948]

Centralization is the symptom of a problem, not the problem itself. The Austrians are quite right in the idea centralization sucks, but what they fail to diagnose is WHY centralization sucks.

Allow me to offer a few competing theories:

Centralization sucks because the needs of the few are met by the labor of the many, while the few do nothing. Solution- decentralize ownership and eliminate the concept of an employee- make every man his own business. Allow him to have apprentices to pass on how to run such a business to the next generation, but eliminate all other employees, make everybody independent contractors.

Centralization sucks because anonymous people aren't friends, and centralized economies of any sort have people you don't know making decisions that affect your life. Doesn't matter if it's the party committee (communism), shareholders and upper management (corporatism) or distant supply chain members (Austrian Capitalism), anonymous people making decisions for you sucks. Solution- geographically small markets with strong regulatory and protectionist but still geographically small government; tribalism.

Centralization sucks because when transactions are anonymous, the temptation for fraud becomes greater and advertising is used to spread fraud and create wants that replace needs in an individual's budget. Solution: better schools, more education in the scientific method to allow individuals to detect fraud and make advertising worthless.

There, three methods OTHER than capitalism for fighting centralization; based on different reasons OTHER THAN monopoly/oligarchy on why centralization sucks.

Finally a troll for the conservatives out there: While you were examining government for signs of communist infiltrators, the communists got smart and bought into the stock market. They have infiltrated it so completely that they now control most of the businesses in the United States.


Journal Journal: Android Bugs that infuriate me #1, #2, and #3 4

I'll preface this by admitting that when it comes to cell phones, I am NOT cutting edge. My G2 has never been rooted, and is still Android Gingerbread 2.3 with whatever upgrades T-Mobile has seen fit to send down the line.

I will also admit to being the type of person who has filled up 20 GB of a 32GB microSD Card with free and sometimes not-so-free applications.

Still, I'm running into bugs that bug me, as a user and as a programmer, that I do not believe should exist in a modern operating system regardless of platform, but especially NOT in a ROM/Flash based operating system.

#1. User Input is not given priority. Ok, so while this is a pet peeve of mine in everything from Windows XP to Linux to Android, it's a biggie for me. I don't care what your platform is, User Input should *always* preempt ALL other jobs currently running. When you have a processor running at > 5Mhz (and all of them do, these days) there is absolutely no excuse for not interrupting whatever the processor thinks it is doing to respond to keyboard and touch screen input. None at all. Humans are slow enough that there are plenty of clock cycles behind the scenes to get all other jobs done.

#2. Random Reboots. If I am happily using my phone for a single task, *LIKE A PHONE CALL*, hold off on that upgrade reboot until you have *NO* user interaction for at least 5 minutes. Or at least give me a warning so that I can say to the guy I'm talking to that I'll call him back. Once again, this is about proper prioritization of jobs. The machine exists to serve the user, not the user to serve the machine.

#3. The weird thing I just noticed that prompted me to finally write this, and certainly a low priority item. In the Call log, if I leave it on that screen, at least update the times in the list every hour or so, especially if there is no user input (see #1) for a long period. I just glanced at my screen and saw a call I know I made two hours ago labeled as being made 2 minutes ago. The screen had not updated in that long.

User Journal

Journal Journal: The reason why I want to never register as a Democrat 14

Four planes attack buildings in our nation, with three of them being successful. Thousands die in the attack. Our military experiences a surge in volunteers to âoego punish the bastards that did thisâ.

Drones attack villages in Afghanistan, killing innocent people. Their people respond by taking up arms to âoego punish the bastards that did thisâ.

And we act surprised that they hate us for the same reasons we hate them. Go figure.

Slashdot Top Deals

If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.