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First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: Many Accidental Shootings Are Not Properly Classified 9

I've been pointing out for some time that irresponsible gun owners end up causing lots of deaths in this country. However a recent review finds that to make matters worse, many accidental (and preventable) deaths in this country are often misclassified in their final reports. Here's the review from the NY Times, which points out several cases that for most of us flew completely under the radar. Notice that the bulk of them involve irresponsible adults who couldn't be bothered to be the least bit sensible with their firearms. I highly doubt that anyone faced any proper criminal punishment for their wanton disregard for common sense safety.
User Journal

Journal Journal: DeviantArt thinks this is spam 2

[Just saving this here in case I need to point to it. Long story short - never try. Someone posted a question. I wrote an answer. Then wasted five minutes signing up because DA pretends you can comment when you don't have an account then hits you with the sign in barrier. So you sign up, enter lots of crap, open Yahoo mail to retreive the confirmation email, confirm, then you're landed me on an unrelated page. So I had to back out until I found the comment form in my history. Fortunately the comment was still there. Then I resubmitted it. "DeviantArt can't post this message because we think it is spam." Uh, what? So I cut the comment, reloaded the page - in case there were expired magic tokens or some other never-works-in-practice anti-spam crap, repasted, and got the same message.

So.... then I said "Screw it", and tried to cancel the account. Which it refused to do, because it had forgotten my password. I knew my password, but no, DeviantArt thought I didn't. (OK, perhaps I made a typo when setting it up, but just curious DA assholes: you prompted me twice for my email address, which I can read, and which you're going to send me a confirmation email to anyway, but only once for the password which I can't read because each letter's replaced by a black circle. Does this make sense to you? No? Me neither.)

But, of course, DeviantArt didn't need my password anyway, it jsut insisted on it. You see (1) I'm already logged in and (2) DA's going to send a confirmation email to that email address I had to enter twice. But, fuck, OK, send me my password reset thingie. What's that? You can't? Not until I log out? Oh. My. Fucking God.

Last action on my part while still logged in is to send a nastygram to the person who wanted help. OK, it was polite actually, but I was seething.I actually signed up to DeviantArt to show you. Unfortunately DA says my comment is "spam". There are no links, it's just a list of instructions. To add insult to injury I can't now cancel the account as it reports the password - the one I set five minutes ago - is incorrect.

So, anywho, log out, remind password, open Yahoo mail, click on link, reset password, log in, close account, yes I'm sure, re-enter password, open Yahoo mail, click on link, YES, I already said YES SEVERAL SODDING TIMES you DICK. Why? You're asking me WHY? You call me a fucking spammer because I try to help someone? Reason entered. Yes. OK. Closed.

No good deed goes unpunished.]

It's not pretty, but I found you can get by by using unity-2d-panel.

1. Make sure you have Cinnamon set up to only show a bottom panel.
2. Open a terminal and run "gnome-session-properties"
3. Click "Add", and in the dialog box that comes up enter "unity-2d-panels" in both the Name and Command field. Save and close.
4. Restart your Cinnamon session.

This, obviously, only works if you're running Ubuntu. It may not work in very recent Ubuntus - I recall reading somewhere Unity 2D is not supported in more recent versions (I'm running 12.04) - if in doubt, before doing any of this type "which unity-2d-panel" at the command line and see if it can find that application or gives you an error message.


Journal Journal: A couple republicans claim to have a health care proposal... 19

Over three years ago, The Health Insurance Industry Bailout Act of 2010 was signed into law by President Lawnchair. It was, of course, primarily authored by conservatives who claimed they weren't getting a chance in the discussion - and then because it had only 90% of what they wanted, they voted against it when it came up to vote in congress. Nonetheless, since President Lawnchair knew he would never see another healthcare related bill, he signed it into law so he could say he signed a bill, even if it didn't do anything useful and didn't resemble any of his initial goals.

Naturally, the GOP had a shit fit. They spread all kinds of lies around about what this would or would not do, and the "mainstream media" dutifully reported those as the truth. The GOP furthermore has made it a point to vote on at least one bill in the house (on average) every 4-5 weeks to cripple or overturn the Bailout Act.

Now, a few of the same GOP critters have claimed to have finally written a proposal of their own to "reform" health care. Slashdot member smitty_one_each mentioned this in a recent JE that he wrote, with a link to a highly biased comment on this "alternative". The problem, of course, is that it largely isn't an alternative to the current situation.

Here's my blow-by-blow on the summary:

I clicked the link to your GOP alternative proposal. Color me unimpressed.

First of all, I will point out that the Health Insurance Bailout Act of 2010 was passed in 2010. The republicans have had more than 3 years for a do-over and this is all they can come up with?

That said, it doesn't really do much. Much of what is in this is already in the bill that they so desperately want to kill.

  • Article 1 - just kills the Bailout Act, and does nothing else.
  • Article 2 - is a tax cut for buying health insurance, which we already have in the Bailout Act. It adjusts a few other things like HSAs but that isn't anything that rocks the earth.
  • Article 3 - Only removes a COBRA requirement for people who are high-risk and currently unemployed. Being as the coverage is - to be kind - extremely biased, I'm not convinced that such a requirement actually exists but we'll let them claim it to be so for now.
  • Article 4 - Is about "purchasing across state lines". This is at best massive window dressing, and at worst could make health care far more expensive. First of all, in the majority of situations nothing currently prevents people from purchasing health insurance from other states whcih makes this window dressing. However, if they want to make it law then they will force health care providers to accepts any number of crazy plans and train their staff to work on this, which will massively increase the cost of running a health care office.
  • Article 5 - is about medical liability law. Sounds great, except in reality it has little to do with the cost of health care beyond what providers pay for malpractice insurance; which is a cost that is only minimally passed on to the consumer. In particular this targets the attorney's part of the take (while placing no limit on the patient's award) whch should tell you enough of what this proposal's author is after.
  • Article 6 - an anti-abortion statement. This really doesn't have shit to do with this and doesn't belong here.

In other words, the parts of this that are not obviously partisan attacks on conservative boogeymen are taken from the Health Insurance Company Bailout Act of 2010. I will love to see what they say when the CBO evaluates the cost of this proposal.


Journal Journal: Unsurprising Conservative Media Move of the Week 13

Since they don't have anything else to go for at this point, a conservative group funded by the Koch Brothers has decided to go full-on partisan with their attack on the health insurance company bailout act. They realized - even though some congresional conservatives have their own heads too far up their own asses to realize it - that the bill will go into effect. So what to do then? Apparently, they decided that the best thing to do is to encourage youngsters to break the law.

That's right. Since the conservatives can't defeat it any other way (in spite of the fact that it was their own fucking insistence that made a mandate a pivotal part of the bill) they are now encouraging people to break the law in order to (hopefully) make it insolvent.

It is really sad that the republicans are so desperate to prevent a democrat from being remembered as a successful president that they are willing to encourage unlawful behavior in youngsters in order to further their aim. The irony here though is that the republicans set themselves up for this failure; this bill has this structure because of their actions and became law because of the same. If they spent half as much time trying to do meaningful politics as they do trying to discredit 1600 Pennsylvania Ave they wound't be consistently rated as one of the worst congresses of all time.

The thing that keeps congress going on this path, of course, is obvious. While most voters believe congress to be deeply dysfunctional, very few voters believe their own congressperson to be part of the problem.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: Bad Gun Owner of the Week 54

Will we see slashdot (and other) conservatives describe this one as a suicide as well?

Yellowstone National Park officials are investigating after an Idaho woman reported her 3-year-old daughter shot herself with a handgun in a campground.

So which backwoods state did these shithead gun owners come from?

He said he didn't know how many family members were camping or where they are from in Idaho. Names haven't been released.

Apparently they weren't far from home, then. Most likely they will receive no punishment whatsoever for their wanton irresponsibility. In a sane country we would be asking whether they would face more or less prosecution for leaving a loaded unlocked weapon sitting around in a public campground.


A federal law went into effect Feb. 22, 2010, allowing visitors to possess firearms in the park.

That doesn't mean that people have the right to be so utterly careless with them.


Journal Journal: President Lawnchair's Best Play Yet 3

President Barack "Lawnchair" Obama delivered in his speech this weekend likely his best play in government yet. He is facing a decision between a number of options where none are a winning play; attack Syria and anger people (not to mention killing them), don't attack and you let people die which will also anger people.

But here, he can place the blame for the outcome on congress. With nearly everyone in congress who has said anything to the media opposing action, he can follow their vote (which will likely be against action) and then say "congress said so" when the world is mad at us for not doing anything.

Well played, sir. Well played.

For the record, I think Assad is scum who shouldn't be in power. That said, I don't think we should be attacking the regime, either as that only opens up a different can of worms. The conflict in Syria doesn't really reflect American interests at this point and as terrible as it is I don't see a good reason for us to commit resources to someone else's war. I really can't imagine a scenario where attacking Syria - even if we send just a small number of cruise missiles to kill Assad and his top brass - would work out in our favor.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: Another Bad Gun Owner 7

An 8 year old boy in Louisiana found a loaded and unlocked .38 and killed his own grandmother. Apparently he was taking a break from some wholesome and age-appropriate activities while she was watching him, too:

the boy was playing the video came Grand Theft Auto IV on another television set behind her just minutes before the incident

They also mention

Under state law in Louisiana, where the shooting occurred, the child cannot be charged.

Which is pretty reasonable in this case as the kid likely didn't have a clue what he was doing. They specifically said

It was determined that he did the shooting and it was an accident. He thought it was a toy gun, a play gun

Which certainly makes sense for a kid who plays GTA IV.

I'll bet $10 to anyone that nobody faces any kind of charges for this (child endangerment, anyone?). Whether the gun was grandma's or belonged to someone else hasn't been stated.


Journal Journal: APK + GNAA + other trolls I can't think of immediately = ... 5

I'm pretty sure they combine to produce this guy. There may even be a smattering of the last iteration of the RG troll in there as well. I can't decide if he's worth adding to my friends list or not, but this will allow me to find him quickly enough if I'm really bored.

I do suspect he may have an interesting origin story; he has a few +5 comments from not too long ago, and now he's all -1. The real accomplishment though is that he has a string of more than a couple dozen -1 scores with moderations, which suggests they started at 0 or better. It takes some effort to pull that off...
User Journal

Journal Journal: Can someone reboot that system? 4

I think it's stuck in a loop. If only we knew a programmer who could debug it, and see where the logic fault is. I've heard the code is rather dated and not well documented, though... I can't seem to get access to the source myself and my input is not being recognized. I can see some of the logic failures in the system as it is, but I'm locked out and the developers aren't responding to my comments.
User Journal

Journal Journal: 5 unique moderations on 1 comment 6

I think this unique combination of moderations might be a new achievement for me. One comment, moderated exactly 5 times, never the same way twice. I could still pick up a flamebait and make it 6, which I believe would leave only Interesting, Funny, and Underrated as the moderations I haven't seen on it so far.

And honestly, flamebait was what I expected it would be moderated with first. Apparently the slashdot conservatives weren't reading that discussion for some reason.

The most conservative president in history... , posted to Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses , has been moderated Insightful (+1).

It is currently scored Normal (2).

The most conservative president in history... , posted to Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses , has been moderated Underrated (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (3).

The most conservative president in history... , posted to Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses , has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

The most conservative president in history... , posted to Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses , has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (1).

The most conservative president in history... , posted to Obama Praises Amazon At One of Its Controversial Warehouses , has been moderated Informative (+1).

It is currently scored Insightful (2).

User Journal

Journal Journal: Keystone XL Pipeline Will Raise Gas Prices for US Consumers

Unintended consequences:

There is no shortage of available crude oil, domestic or imported, in the
United States, and for the last few years there has been a glut at the nationâ(TM)s
largest crude oil terminal in Cushing, Oklahoma. Canadian tar sands oil
would be processed for greater use in the U.S. only as other imported or domestic
sources are reduced. Replacing Mexican oil with Canadian oil would
only trade the closer source for the more distant.

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: Pot meet kettle 22

factions remain who "want to take the law into their own hands"

You mean like George Zimmerman, who took the law into his own hands and chased down a teenage boy?

Oh, wait, that quote comes from Zimmerman's brother, and he's claiming that there are hacks like his brother who want to kill his brother.

Well, if he felt safer with his gun, he can take that gun back now. That was what it was for, right?

User Journal

Journal Journal: $freaks-- 6

It is with great sorrow I read the following:

Relationship Change
sent by Slashdot Message System on Monday July 15, 2013 @12:05AM

Coniptor (22220) has ceased their relationship with you.

Although looking at his foes list I suspect he had to drop me so he could hate someone else instead.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot bug-of-the-week 6

I think someone else may have already mentioned this a while back but I hadn't seen it myself before today. The script (used for friends in particular) is broken.

More specifically, it seems to be broken when I try to call it up in firefox. If I am running chrome it works as it is supposed to. If I try to use it in firefox I get a non-helpful error.

This wouldn't have been broken by virtue of being used (and abused) by a former slashdot employee who was known for carrying an extensive perma-hate list of foes, would it? Naah, that doesn't sound that likely.

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Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson