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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 zoo.pl 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.
Republicans

Journal Journal: Let me get this straight... 23

A while ago, some billionare brothers, who hardly pay any taxes and never give more than casual lip service to things like the plight of workers or environmental stewardship decided they needed a way to pay even less in taxes and care even less about the part of the world that is not insanely wealthy. They decided one way or another that the best way to meet this goal was to start their own political movement; which they ironically called the "tea party". This party promised uninformed voters the world.

The Tea Party rather bluntly declared itself to have objectives including avoiding taxes altogether and the destruction of the IRS. They made various claims of income taxes being unconstitutional and also statements of how good god-fearing Americans should do everything they can to avoid paying taxes, including not filling out tax claims at all. Then, in a rather strange twist this new political movement filed with the IRS for tax exempt status - rather than just simply avoiding taxes altogether in the way they had advocated for their followers to do.

And now, this group that has openly called for the end of the IRS and taxes, is crying foul that the IRS was investigating it.

When people left the country to avoid the military draft, they were shunned as outcasts, hippies, cowards, commies, and Un-American. But now we have a group that is openly opposing the government and we are being told - even by the supposed leftist media - that they should be greatly rewarded for their courage.

What the fuck happened to this country?
User Journal

Journal Journal: Two Articles in a Week - What Site Is This, Really?

Today I managed to get another front page article. I had one a week ago as well. Strange, since it was over 3 years (possibly more) since I last had an submission accepted. FWIW they were both accepted by Soulskill, on Friday afternoons - 4:04pm today, 1:01pm last week.

I'm pretty sure this is not slashdot anymore, if I was able to get two articles up. I'm not complaining about the change, but I got used to getting rejected - and even more used to seeing my submissions accepted a day or more later when submitted by other people.
Biotech

Journal Journal: Coelocanth Genome Sequenced

As I doubt I will get two stories on the front page in a month (several years passed between my most recent accepted story and the one before it), I will mention here as well that the genome of the coelocanth has been sequenced and described. 3 billion bases described in a non-paywalled Nature paper. Sequenced by an international team including scientists from Uppsala (Sweden), MIT, and Harvard.
Announcements

Journal Journal: My streak *might* finally be broken... 3

I submitted a story this morning, and it is showing up "green" in the firehose. After having every single one of my submissions declined for years now - many of which were published a day or two later when submitted by someone else - I might finally get a story on the front page. That said, if it does make the front page it will be here on slashdot more than 6 hours after it was on google plus, but at least it will have made it.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: We Don't Need No Fucking Gun Control 20

Clearly, more guns will solve the problem:
Woman killed by 4-year-old in Tennessee cookout
Yes, you read that right. A woman was killed by a four year old boy who picked up a loaded handgun that some shit-for-brain left sitting around unattended, and shot and killed a woman. Being as the NRA wants us to believe that more guns somehow causes less death, it would stand to reason that they would also support having some random armed person then shoot and kill the 4 year old to prevent him from shooting anyone else.

Perhaps the most telling line though is towards the end

no charges have been filed.

So some dumb fucker left his loaded gun sitting around and he has not faced any charges for the death that resulted from it. I would be shocked if he ever did, either.

And should the owner have really, really, really, known better? Hell yes. The owner of the gun is a sheriff's deputy. Somehow, this is supposed to make us feel better, I suppose?

The gun involved was Fanning's personal weapon, not his service pistol, she said.

Yes, I'm pissed off about this. I would have submitted it to the front page but since this is drudgedot and it makes the NRA look stupid it would never be accepted there. Hell, not that long ago when there was another case of a shithead leaving his gun out in the reach of a young child the kid shot themselves with it and this site called it "the wii suicide" (as if a toddler could harbor thoughts of suicide).

First Person Shooters (Games)

Journal Journal: More Questions than Answers from the NRA 21

Today the NRA unveiled its new plan for school safety. For reasons not clear, it has received quite a bit of fanfare. In particular, it includes:

The 225-page report presented on Tuesday includes eight recommendations, most notably a fuller articulation of the NRAâ(TM)s proposal following the Newtown shooting to place armed security in every school in the country.

The report outlines a model training program for school resource officers and school personnel that, along with proposed changes to various state laws, would enable designated school personnel to carry firearms after having undergone training.

Yet of course it does not offer a plan to pay for any of this. They also don't seem to have a grasp on the actual numbers (of guards and guns) required to fulfill this plan. Consider a few things:

  • How many doors were at the schools you attended as a child? I can't think of a single school I went to that had only one door. The high school I went to likely had at least 7 different entrances which even a really fast runner would need over a minute to get between; my middle school probably had at least 4 and my elementary I would guess had at least three. Do you put a guard at each entrance?
  • How do you prepare the guards for armed attacks? We have heard recently that the Newtown shooter was wearing a bullet-proof vest; the Batman shooter was wearing armor as well.
  • What do you do if the teachers and staff don't want to carry weapons on campus? Don't they have the right to refuse?
  • What if the community is opposed to guns in the school? Do you force them to fire teachers to hire armed guards anyways?
  • Does it really make sense to arm most teachers? The same tenure system that conservatives seldom pass at the opportunity to bash means that many of our teachers are older; do you want to rely on someone in their 50s or 60s who took a few evening gun classes to defend our children?

In other words, the NRA plan is epically short-sighted (and that is being kind). They want to solve the violence problem by bringing in more lethal force. They seem to live in a world very different from the country I reside in. They apparently are so afraid of violence that they feel firing teachers to hire security guards is somehow a good move.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: I'm sure these are a coincidence and nothing more... 6

Because of course, nobody would ever follow someone around with mod points to try to trash their karma or anything:

Comment the first , posted to For Smitty, from where we left off , has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Normal (0).

Poorly worded title , posted to Apple: 75% of Our World Wide Power Needs Now Come From Renewable Power Sources , has been moderated Flamebait (-1).

It is currently scored Insightful (1).

How many people are buying this needlessly? , posted to Adobe To Australians: Fly To US For Cheaper Software , has been moderated Overrated (-1).

It is currently scored Interesting (1).

Re:I had never considered that the .... , posted to Wrong Fuel Chokes Presidential Limo , has been moderated Troll (-1).

It is currently scored Normal (0).

Certainly, their point of my comment in a discussion in my own journal entry being overrated must be accurate. And the fact that all four of these happened in a very short time is nothing but a coincidence. Nothing to see here...

Republicans

Journal Journal: Michele Bachmann "literally" Steps In It 10

Well, at least by her sense of "literally", she does.

As pointed out in the above-linked story:

LITERALLY. ACTUALLY. The news that these words are just being used indiscriminately as intensifiers has pushed Grandma to bludgeon herself to death with a literal thesaurus. Or even a metaphorical thesaurus.

Of course she is certainly not the first conservative nutjob to literally not give a shit about the English language when it gets in the way of her metaphorical quest to destroy the Obama white house.

Bug

Journal Journal: Did somebody re-break the front page? 10

I'm no longer getting messages to tell me when someone has responded to my comments. Interesting that these new bugs seem to pop up on weekends now; they used to debut during the work week.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Attn: Smitty, I will get back to your post later 1

Smitty, your journal entry is no longer open for discussion. I had a busy couple weeks and when I checked on it again recently I realized I was too late to reply to your last comment to me. I'm going to try to get to it soon, I just wanted to let you know I wasn't brushing it off.

It's rather frustrating that JE discussions just simply time-bomb over time, regardless of how many comments are on them. You wrote that comment on Monday, and the discussion was closed and archived by Friday. I thank you for the discussion regardless, and hopefully we can pick it up here in a little while.
Windows

Journal Journal: What is the cheapest / easiest way to setup WIndows AD?

(I submitted this to the front page as well, but since I am 0 for 20 or so I don't expect it to get anywhere)

I have been asked to help modernize a network for a small business. Currently they have 3 PCs running various versions of Windows and of course they have no central authentication for their logins or credential-based file sharing between the systems. One task I want to accomplish then is to set up a single point of authentication for all the systems, partially to better manage file permissions and partially so that it will be easier to handle requests for new passwords if someone forgets their login.

Of the three existing PCs two run Windows 7 and one runs XP Pro. We plan to replace the XP Pro system with a PC running 7 or 8 in the very near future. I expect that regardless, I will be setting up another PC in their network to handle authentication. I understand the old Windows SFU has been replaced with SUA in newer versions; if the new PC is running *nix could I have SUA sync passwords with it and be done? I know that the newest version of SAMBA also can act as an AD server, which is an interesting option as well although I don't have experience with that and I won't have a lot of time to set this up.

It seems like the nuclear option would be to buy a system running windows server, which should "just work". Of course that would also be the most expensive and I haven't run a windows server since NT4 so that would be new territory for me as well.
Bug

Journal Journal: Are Other People Seeing This Slashdot Bug Too? 8

I can't seem to pull up comment moderation numbers for a comment anymore. My cursor changes when I hover over the score, but when I click, nothing happens. It doesn't seem to matter who wrote the comment or what the score is, either.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Slashdot's "new" mobile site also sucks epically 7

A week or so ago there was a front page story here bragging about the "new" mobile site on slashdot. I was interested to see this as before they had pretty well abandoned development for mobile devices. I know of their abandonment based on a time when I wrote former site manager Rob Malda and he told me that they would not be developing for mobile devices.

In a moment of boredom I decided to try loading the new site on my blackberry (Curve 8520). Giving it four times as long as it takes to load a British newspaper page, my browser showed 0k (yes, zero) of 3k loaded. Eventually, I ended up with a blank page with only a title of slashdot.

Granted, the main page used to crash my phone completely. I guess this is an improvement in that aspect but not in any way better at actually showing information.

And yes, I know my phone is old, but there are plenty of relevant sites that it works just fine with.

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