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Comment flamebait for wankers (Score 1) 141

The summary's deliberately phrased to be inflammatory, and imply that she was persecuted for whistle-blowing.

A Google search for "Slashdot" still comes up Slashdot: News for nerds, stuff that matters, but a single story summary this shitty sure puts paid to that aspiration.

For stories like this one, if my account wasn't a pseudonym I'd have to wear a bag over my face just to post here.

Comment Re:Surrogate decisionmaking (Score 1) 961

Even in a country that supposedly has a separation of church and state there are a lot of laws whose origins were based upon religion.

Yes, I get it. Everything that passes through religion is forever in debt. Not that religion itself didn't borrow its founding myths from oral culture dating back to the beginnings of human language.

Code of Hammurabi

There are two fundamental problems here. One is permanence and the other is moral authority. For permanence, nothing beats the invention of a chisel that mars stone. Scratch one. But for moral authority, why Hammurabi? Because his code is good, or because he kicks ass when anyone complains? The first is inevitably contested, the second reeks of non-moral authority.

Third option: I'm just the delegate on earth of the big guy in the sky.

Me special from special. How shocked the first person to successfully pull that off must have been.

"Sheesh, they actually went for it! Must be the mouldy grain again this year. But, hey, if it works, it's a great gig. Now, let's get on with appropriating all of human culture into a unified creation myth. I mean, it all comes from Him, or the whole point of this Glorious conceit is completely ruined."

Comment Re:Ratio (Score 1) 1216

Witness: the bulk of lottery winners are eventually poorer than when they started. This is PROOF that simply throwing money at poor people is truly a stupid idea - it doesn't help.

My standards of proof are exponentially higher than that. People don't buy lottery tickets with a rational expectation of gaining net wealth. If their ten dollar investment (times some large multiplier they prefer to neglect) gets them a year in Vegas debauching their brains out, some part of their lizard brain sighs and smokes a cigarette.

Once you start with the premise that different people want different things, proof is fleeting commodity.

I will grant you that very few social institution based on "throwing money at" outperform, regardless of whether the target is paupers or billionaires.

Comment *the* guts (Score 1) 47

'Other companies came up with the guts for a machine and then the engineers would find a way to stuff them into a box,' says Zufi. 'Steve Jobs started with the box and said, "You need to find a way to get the guts in."'

No, these other companies weren't coming up with "the" guts, not back in the eighties and nineties.

Back then the "ap" was called an "expansion card" by serious users. If you had 10 megabits and you wanted 100 megabits, you could do that. If you wanted to stagger upgrading your system board and your video card, you could do that, too, with a bit of planning. Not "the" guts. Any guts.

We also had the notion of consumables which could be replaced, like CMOS batteries which didn't last forever, unlike the batteries Apple now uses after their break-through innovation in pentalobular lithium alkaloids.

Jobs was designing for a highly integrated potting-compound future long before the economics of this made any sense in the mass consumer marketplace. Design takes over once functionality plateaus, i.e. once Moore's projection passes into menopause. Just because you can stuff the circuitry into a designer's wet dream doesn't mean you should.

The six worst Apple products of all time
Apple Puck Mouse

The truth of the Apple story is that the company was fortunate to survive their reality distortion field until Job's vision of the ubiquitous appliance was right for the times.

If we want to move forward and see Apple healthy and prospering again, we have to let go of a few things here. We have to let go of this notion that for Apple to win, Microsoft has to lose. We have to embrace a notion that for Apple to win, Apple has to do a really good job. And if others are going to help us that's great, because we need all the help we can get, and if we screw up and we don't do a good job, it's not somebody else's fault, it's our fault. So I think that is a very important perspective. If we want Microsoft Office on the Mac, we better treat the company that puts it out with a little bit of gratitude; we like their software.

Who promulgated that caustic narrative in the first place?

Comment Re:OK but how fast? (Score 1) 149

Otherwise it's going to be continually asking you to verify your identity which would be very disruptive of your work.

I've always wanted an authentication system that identifies me by precisely the way I say "oh, fuck off" when something this stupid breaks my train of thought.

Normally I type from the home position, but sometimes I cross arms (certain combinations of mouse and keyboard operations are easier that way) and sometimes I type with one hand (mainly when I'm eating at my desk) and sometimes I type with fewer fingers because I'm grasping something extraneously with one pinky finger or the other (such as test clips not yet hooked to my scope, but the last voltage measured needs to be recorded with the least possible delay or I'm repeating my last bench setup for ten minutes).

Another great signature is how quickly I invoke AdBlock Plus to remove animated GIFs from my field of vision. Absolutely can't stand anything hooking my peripheral vision when I'm trying to comprehend text. Or how I mute the volume on advertising with about 80% coverage in any video stream I visit. Basically the rule is this: would I invite the advertising characters into my home? If not, no volume, ever, if I'm within reach of the controls. If I won't let you in the front door, you're not sneaking in through my media system, either.

It doesn't need to be black and white, either. If I have to reauthenticate my keyring a little sooner after five minutes of typing cross armed for an unusual editing task, I'm OK with that.

Comment Re:these people are incredibly persistent (Score 2) 201

First time I got one of these calls I said "I don't have Microsoft" and hung up immediately. They called back shortly. This time I said "I don't have Microsoft don't ever call me again." Both calls began with "This is Microsoft Support calling ..."

Didn't hear from them again for several months.

When that day arrived I had been having a horrible time with something (forget what) and I was pretty wound up when my phone rang "Hello this is Microsoft ..." I hit the ceiling in 50 ms. Veins popped out of my neck.


This (verbatim) at a rail gun rage acceleration that by the second syllable would give anger boy a good run for his money at 1m20 in Nicolas Cage Losing His Shit. I laced every word of that with contempt, vitriol, spittle and neck lunging malice. Then I dropped the call. I don't actually call people names if I can avoid it, but I'm not shy about dropping the F-bomb in any other capacity when the situation merits.

30 seconds later the phone rings. What the hell. I answer. "Hello are you the Joe 'fucking' Smith?" Same Indian accent, but this time even more sing-song, and a bit tart.

Really? You called back to jaw at me adding a profanity to my name? Do you think you're going to prey on my guilt or push my buttons? Fat chance. I repeated myself at a similar volume, now merely caustic in tone and then I hung up again. No further calls for several weeks now.

I could tell that even a person hardened to the shit-bag lifestyle was not amused to get ambushed by by Spinal Tap amplitude Cage rage before he could even complete his opening phrase. Couldn't have have quite hit that note cold turkey if I hadn't had the happy misfortune to have already been a slithering Champagne cork away from losing it. And to have been home alone. I'm not normally an angry guy.

It didn't even feel that good. It merely felt adequate and long overdue. That's what got under his skin. It's what he deserves from every person he calls and deep down he knows it.

Comment Re:Stow the 'Tude, Queenie (Score 1) 361

maybe try to not be such a douche-bag about "having exponentially many needless conversations" with your co-workers

Seconded. Every math or computer geek I've ever known who employed snotty language like that ended up sleeping in a bed they made themselves.

All too often "needless" conversations involves a passive aggressive asshole on one side doing everything humanly possible to prove to the world at large just how futile this interaction/interruption really is.

In most complex projects, there are any number of needful conversations just dying for an opportunity to take place between team members who are attentive to the needs of the project as a whole, and able to identify the appropriate venue and opportunity.

Comment Re:if a sheikh had $3 million spare, why not chari (Score 1) 241

belonged to everyone

You must be arguing from a theistic position. It's sure not supported by the genetic code as expressed by wolves, seagulls, sharks, or dragons.

Because the human greed gullet sometimes takes years to complete the swallowing motion, we're the dancing bees of declaring "dibs".

A highly popular dance move is the puerile head fake of vapid collectivism.

It's certainly true that all life on earth shares the destiny of our damp blue marble, which should give pause to the greedy algorithm running amok.

Another highly popular head fake is the display of flagrant excess. Gives the chattering classes a focal point having nothing to do with reforming the "heads I win, tails you loose" gravy train known as Wall Street.

Comment bunk shot into the trophy bunker (Score 2) 388

An old joke nearly served. The NSA is not a place where God coddles his minions.

It seems there was this priest who just loved to play golf, but he had been very busy for many months and had not been able to get away to go golfing. Well, one Sunday morning he woke up and felt he just HAD to go golfing. The weather was just beautiful.

He called up the Bishop and claimed he had a really bad case of laryngitis and couldn't preach, so the Bishop told him to rest for several days. He then got out his clubs and headed off for the golf course.

He set up at the first hole, making sure no one was there to see him playing hooky, and blasted the ball with his wood. It was a beautiful shot! It went straight and true. It bounced, and bounced (right up onto the green) and rolled its way closer... and closer... a hole-in-one! The priest jumped up and down in his excitement, praising the Lord and shouting hallelujahs!

He struts off to the green, collects his ball, and tees off at the second hole, repeating his performance on the first hole, much to his astounded delight. All this time St. Peter and God have been watching him from the gates of heaven. St. Peter has finally seen enough to pique his curiosity. "Lord," he says, "this priest seems to be a real trouble maker. He ignored his congregation and even lied to go golfing. Now you reward him with a hole-in-one! Why?"

"Well, think about it for half a second, you sanctimonious prat. Who can he tell?"

Comment wherever you go, there you aren't (Score 4, Informative) 141

Those fuckers at redirected my connection attempt to so that even after I authorized Javascript for their site I was unable to navigate to my intended destination (whatever shit they pulled did not even leave a history item for the originally requested URL).

This sucks because I middle-click many URLs into tabs I might not visit until ten minutes later. It I had a bunch of these tabs open I wouldn't even have been able to recollect where I had originally been. In this case, I knew to come back here.

Those fuckers at need to procure themselves an Internet clue stick PDQ.

Comment Re:That's sad (Score 1) 419

Since Blockbuster's entire business model depended upon exorbitant late fees, and they were only too happy to reduce rental times for new releases from 2 down to 1-day for the same reason once their competitors were disappearing, I'll be near the front of the line to spit on their grave. Nothing of value has been lost.

Wear your shoulder pads and bring your A game. I'll be right there beside you, fighting dirty to for the honour to produce the first sputum of blood and saliva from between rapidly swelling lips I can't even pucker.

Then I'll get in line to do it again.

They devastated all the small shops offering a decent back catalogue like an infestation of mountain pine beetle. We've got one left where I live, but it's not exactly small, boasting 20,000 titles in stock. No sign it's going away any time soon, but still, I worry.

Comment hookers of horseshit (Score 1) 476

The complaint tries to use the fact that Google bid for the patents as an extra point against the search giant.

This mainly implies that the law firm had not yet run into the filing document word limit. Most lawyers would cite vaginal birth as evidence of precocious sexuality.

Logically, one might presume that the winning bid is most likely to come from the side at greatest risk of being sunk were the patents were to be wielded against them. In this vein one would argue that Apple & Co. made the most lucrative bid to absolve themselves of their own infringements of the Nortel portfolio.

This great opera of stupidities proposed and disposed takes place while the aggrieved parties on both sides shower hundred dollar bills upon the jousting hookers of horseshit.

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