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Comment Opened Windows and Doors to New Places (Score 1) 1521

It is hard to quantify exactly how Slashdot and CmdrTaco has shaped my education within this world of computers and technology, but let's suffice to say that it's been incredible. Slashdot gave me a consistent and no-B.S. direct link to really important information that nobody else had back in my formative years, and I'm forever grateful.

I'm especially thankful for the vision and leadership of CmdrTaco who, despite the growing "corporateness" of the Internet as it raged on, insisted on keeping the same flavor going on at Slashdot because it worked, goddammit, and it got information in the hands of those who needed it.

I know I'm yet another drop in the pool of thousands, but Many, many thanks for your years of dedication and hard work on this project. I believe I speak for everyone on this site when I make a lifetime standing offer of buying you a beer (or ten) should we ever meet.

Good luck and keep your stick on the ice. We're all in this together.

Comment Good -- Ethanol's a Joke Anyway (Score 5, Interesting) 395

I wish it WOULD pass. I'm in Iowa, the heart of ethanol country, and I can't stand the stuff and what it's done. Artificial inflation of corn prices, artificial money, artificial companies. Whole corporations and huge plants have been built up on the promise of ethanol and just as quickly have fell into bankruptcy because the dream failed to pay off. As people have slowly come to realize that the bang-for-buck of ethanol is so much lower than gasoline, even with subsidies, plus the corrosion factors on improperly-engineered cars, it's fallen by the wayside. E-85 was supposed to be the next big thing and it barely made a fart in the market at all. All we've ended up with is farmers who thought they had a huge market for their product and suddenly....don't.

I've heard a lot of arguments for things like switchgrass ethanol and so forth and, hey, I'm all for alternatives -- if they work. But the fact remains that despite whatever "green" intentions people may have, if you can't sell it to the general public without a crutch, you're going to lose in the end. Time to let ethanol stand -- and die gracefully -- on its own.

Comment No Islands (Score 1) 1002

For the most part, unless you're a programming grunt and do nothing except hack code all day long, you're multi-tasking. Email, IM, a work order system, CVS system, perhaps ERP, CRM, DMS, etc. Any number of systems that may require constant or frequent monitoring. That is where developers (and most other computer jockeys) need a 2nd monitor.

Now...if you're lucky enough to be able to say, "Look, I'm coding this afternoon and I'll be unavailable entirely until I get done," and then you can close everything, open up your project, and hack/slash at it for a few hours interrupt-free, that's wonderful, and you probably only need one monitor. But I don't know of too many positions like that these days, where so many people are called to be Jack-of-all in most positions.

In the end, monitors are bloody cheap. If the developer wants one, GET HIM/HER ONE. The cost is extremely minor compared to the value it'll bring to their attitude if they think their needs are being met. It'll pay for itself easily.

Comment Internet Time (Score 1, Insightful) 221

Oh, right, because everything on the Internet takes about 5 years to come out. Everyone will wait for you, W3C. We've got Livejournals to keep us amused till then.

Seriously, though -- wouldn't we be that much better off if they would release the standard right now as, "final pending revisions for bugs", or similar, so the world can move on and not fall into 14 different camps of what is official and what isn't?

(I realize in a lot of ways this is all about terminology, but terminology matters, too. )

Comment Re:I can't believe I'm saying this (Score 1) 185

To be honest, I was trying to be a dick to attempt some humor on the subject (perhaps poorly), although I do wonder what the spread of technical knowledge is on e-Readers. That's what *I* would use them for, if I had one.

I don't find Twilight all that offensive from a reading standpoint, although being a sci-fi/fantasy geek, it's far too scant of detail and background. That being said, as I said to someone who was protesting the books as being hackneyed vamp porn, if you're reading Twilight to read a good fantasy-vampire novel, you're reading it for the wrong reason.

Comment Iowa's Shame (Score 0) 1530

Look away from Iowa this morning; it has failed to be a bastion of rational thought and discourse, if it ever was.

We re-elected a governor who, in the 1980s and early 90s, managed to drive our state and especially our educational system straight into the ground, and has already stated plans to cut spending on education already. We kept such old-school dips such as Grassley and Latham, elected King, and gave the Secretary of State job to a guy who isn't sure what that position actually does. We ousted 3 Supreme Court judges for a single decision they handed down, declaring the ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional, thus introducing partisan politics into the judicial system (which will give us years of benefits, I don't doubt)...BUT! We managed to pass a constitutional amendment, no less, to permanently fund wildlife areas so hunters have more things to kill.

In recap:
  • Memory? What memory?
  • Old school == best school
  • Civil liberties? Not here!
  • Thank god we saved the fucking pheasants.

Comment This Just In (Score 5, Funny) 448

PALO ALTO, CA -- Millions of Internet users simultaneously threw up their hands in frustration and disgust Thursday afternoon as Facebook.com, a popular website providing distractions from productivity, inter-personal communication services, and a next-generation forum for thousands of misplaced USENET trolls, blinked off the Interwebs in a bright display of sparks and an anti-orgasmic groan.

Calls to Facebook headquarters were not answered but when the machine picked up, background noises included explosions, people screaming, and a burly man shouting DOS commands in a fierce staccato.

Authorities were put on alert status and reinforcements were called in to deal with the huge amount of LOLs and WTFs that had begun to pile up at intersections, due to the timing corresponding with the release of teenagers from school and their subsequent activities. Counselors were bracing themselves to deal with the myriad of relationships that have been thrust violently into limbo as users have been unable to hook up, break up, get married, or get "into a relationship" with their BFF.

Evan Williams, CEO of the popular sister-site Twitter, said in a statement that they were jumping in to help. "We've brought more servers online to deal with the influx of users who need to update their status, complain about a political party, or notify classmates that they are, 'skanky hors'." Williams also noted that they were partnering with TwitPic and other add-on services to ensure that the steady stream of photos of asses, children doing stupid things, and people drinking in semicircles would be preserved.

Ag secretary Vilsack presented a sober speech Thursday afternoon, lamenting the millions of dollars in crop and animal losses expected from the downtime of Facebook. "We know a lot of virtual farmers out there are hurting, " he stated. "You should know -- we will be here to help you rebuild."

Meanwhile, during the downtime, researchers discovered a rather large blue space available outside of their houses and middle age housewives were said to be seen in states of ecstasy from a natural phenomenon known as, "sunshine".

Comment Besides a Bad PR Strategy... (Score 1) 368

is there any GOOD reason why they simply didn't repair the blowout preventer, hook up a new dipstick, set up a new rig, and keep on a-pumpin'?

I mean, I realize that a half billion people would have descended on it in angry, wet mobs, but...it's an oil well. There's hundreds like it still in operation. If they could safely get it back in operation, rather than forgo all the effort to FIND oil and get it drilled, why not....simply continue pumping?

Maybe it was a lost cause on re-connecting everything, and maybe it was just a PR issue, but it always surprised me that they said they'd just kill it off.

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Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy