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Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 528

Really, what's the point of having windows not Maximized.

Often, there is a limit to how much useful information a given window can convey.

Consider web pages - they tend to have one of two approaches: fixed width, in which you end up with large amounts of blank space, or variable width, in which case a large screen makes most paragraphs 1-3 lines.

I have Steam running. It has two windows running. One is a game list, with columns. Game name, status, update, score, developer. No matter how big the window is, it will not convey any more information. Bigger is not better. The other window is the "update news" page. It's a fixed width web page. I can make it as big as I want, but I just get a bigger border.

I'm running Skype, IRC, and Firefox. In fact, I deliberately shrunk the FF window because I hate it when /. comments are all one line tall.

The "ideal size" for a window very much depends on what is in it. If I am not playing a game, or doing high-resolution graphics manipulation, I do not want my windows maximized. In fact, I find Windows 7's habit of automatically trying to Fullscreen any window I put near the top of the screen highly annoying. Unless you disable it, it makes efficient use of screen real estate hard.

Comment Re:They forgot one (Score 1) 163

who's up for a Church of Common Sense? Anyone? Can I get a Hell Yeah!?!

I'm working on it - it's harder than you think. Anyone can start a religion, but getting one that has enough momentum (and evangelism) to sustain and grow isn't easy. It's even harder when one refuses to use deception, doesn't preach eternal damnation for those who don't believe, and encourages people to think and challenge the teachings themselves.

And no, I'm not kidding.

Comment Re:Wait, so my depression is good? (Score 5, Interesting) 512

Yes, I am very intelligent. I am very successful in my career. I have a lot of people telling me how they would love to swap positions. I can tell you that for every person that I meet who is dumb and unsuccessful, yet happy in their lives, I would swap places in an instant.

Last year, and almost all my life before that, I was in the same position.

On paper, my life was great - phenomenal test scores, CTO and one of the founders of a successful software company, good income, attending Harvard, etc. Tall, attractive, etc.

And yet, my life was hell. Many emotions (love, empathy, grief, joy) were literally missing. I had family, pets, etc. die - I felt nothing, so I watched others and emulated them, lest people think I was callous. I didn't want them to see that I was empty inside - filled with only anger, hate, jealousy, etc.

I was rather sociopathic - it made me a great salesperson, and a very lousy human being. I didn't date, I had only 1 long-term friend. In many ways, he was more screwed up than I.

The irony is that ultimately it was my suicide plans that saved me.

I had decided to end my life, and to ensure I would not be screwing over my family (who I was supporting), I decided to get insurance, and stage an accident. Yes, I am aware this is fraud - I was not right in the head. The fact I'm typing this is a pretty good indication I didn't go through witih it.

As part of the insurance process, they did blood analysis. This caught that my cholesterol levels were extremely low.

Further investigation showed that my body does not properly produce cholesterol, and that it messed up my hormonal levels - horribly.

I now chug heavy whipping cream at night, and take hormonal replacement. The depression is gone, and I am a generally happy human being.

When I do what I feel is right, I enjoy it - when I hurt others, or do what I feel is wrong, I feel bad. It's a very profound feeling for someone who has never felt that before. I went on my first date - I never imagined that being with someone in a social situation could feel so good.

We are chemical beings, running on chemical processes. As we get a better understanding of the brain, how things work - more and more people are finding things that can help. I hope, I sincerely do, that you are able to find your answers, and soon.

Comment Re:Idiocy (Score 1) 676

Sure. Terrorism is scary. It's false bravado to claim you aren't worried about it to some degree. YOur stat of 0.001% of the US population dying in a single day is quite a bit. I'm frightened of street crime. It's a rational fear.

No, it's not. I have absolutely zero fear of terrorism, on any level. I have accepted that I _will_ die, and it's possible it may be a car accident, terrorism, a heart attack - any of a number of things. The nifty thing about dying is that when it's over, you're dead - there's not a lot to worry about at that point.

So, suck it up - it's a simple fact of life that nearly every person you will ever will come across could kill you if he or she desired - be it with a knife, a gun, a bomb. It's part of being in a society.

I do not find any evidence for an afterlife, nor have any reasonable reason to believe that there is one. Fearing a judgement would be counterproductive. I do, however, fear life - the concept of living paralyzed, or in intense pain, etc. - those are scary. Death is easy.

Comment Re:They better bring along the police... (Score 2, Interesting) 589

Verify the number on the warrant, then call it. I've heard that cops will wait for you to do this if it's not one of those "get down on the floor" type of warrants.
That is not always the case.

I was served with search warrant - they did not even let me read it first. They, quite literally, told me - here is the warrant, let us in now, or we break in the door. You can read it while we search.

Comment Re:Let me be the first one to say it ... (Score 1) 1870

The response to TPB here on Slashdot seems overwhelmingly positive, so maybe I've been missing something. I'm honestly curious. As a commercial software developer who works very hard and doesn't want to see my work made available for free, why would I approve of what TPB are doing? I mean, if people don't pay for the apps I make, then my kids don't eat (well, or I have to go find something else to do that I'd probably enjoy less).

I am a software developer by profession - my livelihood comes from copyright at the moment.

Copyright exists to "promote the progress of science and the useful arts" - I would make the case that it no longer does so. A much shorter copyright term would still provide incentive to create, while allowing things to fall in the public domain - where they are free to be modified, improved, built on by others.

My personal reason for completely opposing copyright is that it is fundamentally out of touch with reality. I believe in regulating markets (well, almost anything) only when it's necessary to protect people from each other. Value comes from demand and scarcity - something that is plentiful is not really worth much.

Software has value, yes, but it is the act of creation that is scarce - not the act of copying. Anyone can copy, and many will.

Barring government intervention to the contrary, the "cost" of acquiring a copy naturally tends towards zero - increased competition drives it down towards the cost to make one.

Everything we do is done on the backs of those before us. When I observe someone fix a car, efficiently clean a room, prepare a meal, paint, sing - I am looking to see how I can improve what I do - by copying them. They retain their knowledge, but I benefit from duplicating. From a utilitarian standpoint, the cost to an individual of reduced scarcity is far outweighed by the benefits to society of free exchange of knowledge, or skill, of culture.

Alternatively, from the libertarian standpoint, it is unethical to interfere in the affairs of others - they are depriving you of nothing in the first place. Your "right" to earn money from your software is a government-enforced artificial monopoly - it is out of touch with fundamental realities. When they copy your software, they are not depriving you of anything, other than a government-granted right to control the making and distribution of copies. The government is (supposedly) an agent of the people, and is limited by the Constitution to actions specifically authorized.

Right now, software is often produced at a loss, then copyright is used to allow them split the cost up among the users. Put simply, it's a loss leader, with the revenue model protected by law. Why should software get special protection when other loss leaders (CueCat, iOpener, etc.) do not? Their designers are free to take the risk, and free to earn their rewards, if any, on their own merits.

Would abolishment of copyright do away with the creation of software? Of course not, but it would certainly change things. The need for software still exists.

DRM would have it's place, and would be much more popular than it currently is. Personally I hate it, but it is an ethical approach - the author is free to write and protect his software as he sees fit, and I am free to modify and use it as I can manage. DRM raises the cost of making and acquiring copies - it can preserve value in scarcity without the need for government intervention.

As a company, we commission software all the time. Often, we will go in with other companies to have something created. For things that are not our core business, we have no problem with giving it away - we have nothing to gain from keeping (for example) a CRM scarce, and nothing to lose by giving it away to the world. Software would still exist, it would just feature a different compensation model that reflects real scarcity rather than artificial government-granted monopolies.

Comment Re:To avoid this.. (Score 1) 396

There's an interesting theory on a possible mechanism for attraction that would integrate both nature and nurture.

Basically, we are attracted to what is exotic - that's why, once upon a time, a bare ankle could be erotic, wheras in some other cultures toplessness isn't unusual at all, so it's not particularly exotic.

At some point in our lives, that which is exotic becomes erotic. Hormones, and by extension, play a big role - effiminate men may, for example, associate more with women and feel disconnected from their male peers, leading to an eventual attraction to men. On the other hand, maybe it's simply blond hair that someone finds exotic, etc. - and you end up with someone who's bi but attracted to blondes.

For even more fun, one can throw "erotic target location errors" into the mix, and you potentially get autogynephelia and some other fetishes.

I will say this, though - I know from very personal experience that hormones can play a huge role in who one is attracted to.

Comment Re:I think I speak for everyone (Score 1) 319

I think I speak for everyone here on slashdot when I say

Fuck you!

I do not use profanity, but I simply don't have any other adjectives which properly convey the contempt and abhorrence I have for this bill. So, let me echo my agreement with a simple yet resounding

Fuck this bill!

Don't fix it, don't define the terms, simply kill it - in committee, on the floor, with a veto - whatever is necessary.

This bill is unneeded, and a very liberal interpretation would leave this way more invasive than the patriot act is. Private property, private information, private networks are important. Personal liberty depends on it.

Comment Re:heh (Score 1) 259

Out of curiosity, what does one use to manage ESXi if you're not willing to shell out for VMWare Infrastructure? Does it have a web GUI management setup like VMWare Server?

VMWare Infrastructure Client. It's missing a lot of the fun features like live migration, but you can work around it using SSH most of the time.

Comment Re:Reality is closing in around the RIAA... (Score 5, Informative) 103

Since when is VLC Player illegal?

In the US, since October 28, 1998.

Besides the (incredibly large) array of patent issues which make it difficult to use in a corporate environment, it would be very easy to make the case that VLC is a prohibited circumvention device. It breaks DRM, has built-in transcoding, and will very easily write files or stream content.

You could also make the case that the DRM isn't an effective access control measure, but the courts have set that bar really low. It would be unlikely that such a case would prevail.


Google Search Flagging Everything As Potentially Harmful 407

dowlingw writes "It looks like for the moment at least, all Google results are failing the malware checks and being listed with a warning 'This site may harm your computer,' including all pages from Google themselves. Users trying to visit pages at search results will only be able to proceed via manual manipulation of the search result link to remove the Google click-through (which is also broken). Until Google fixes this bug, it looks Google web search is useless." Update: 01/31 at 15:16 GMT by SS: The problem now appears to be fixed.
Update: 01/31 at 22:01 GMT by KD : Google has now posted an explanation, apologizing and taking responsibility for the "human error" that led to the problem.

Comment Re:I want the Upstream (Score 1) 299

When I lived in Provo, UT I got 15/15 for $40 per month and a $100 setup fee. Now I live in Texas and I get 10/1 for $65 through Charter. It makes me sad.

Moved from provo to TX - can only get satellite (too much latency, too many caps), or DSL. $90/mo for 1.5/768k. It's with SpeakEasy - they treat me fairly well, but there's only so much that can be done with DSL where I live.

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