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User Journal

Journal Journal: I give up

I've thrown in the towel, and will no longer be moderating or metamoderating on Slashdot. I was a good and diligent worker at both tasks, doing my little bit to make the community better for all of us, but no more.

Why? Because this morning I checked the site and found yet another double-posted story. The second double-posted story that this particular editor had put up in the last two or three days.

The "editors" who run this site clearly aren't making a bit of an effort to do a decent job, so I'm no longer willing to put in the effort to moderate. I've got better things to do with my time than try, on a volunteer basis, to improve the comments sections when the people who get paid to select the stories can't be bothered to do a simple search for the story they see in the queue before posting it to the front page.

Hey guys, tell me the one about how Slashdot isn't just another blog because of all the "professionals" who work so hard to produce the "journalism" on display here. I haven't heard that one in a while, and could use a good laugh.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Heavy Sigh

So, after nearly a year off, I'm trying to get back into this.

Not much to report; life goes on (for most of us, anyway).

I saw this, and resolved on the spot to begin a gradual but irreversible process of freeing myself from any and all use of Microsoft software. If you haven't read that article, you really should. (Don't take my word for it, the article was recommended by Bruce Schneier in the November issue of "crypto-gram", his email newsletter.) There is a bit of excessive rhetoric in there, but enough fact to give anyone pause. Bottom line: Microsoft is determined to have control over every computer running Windows.

So with that motivation, I've finally gotten around to setting up an old PC as an OpenBSD firewall. Full migration to Linux or BSD desktop is in the offing; I'm already using OpenOffice for my word processing needs at home and will buy a PS2 or gamecube for entertainment.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Don't Tread On Me

I had heard on the radio that the U.S. Marines at Kandahar International Airport had raised the U.S. flag over their position. I didn't think much of it at the time.

Today, however, I saw on Yahoo that the Marines aren't only flying the usual "Stars and Stripes" flag. They are also flying an historic flag called, I believe, the "Gadsden" flag. That name might not ring a bell, but perhaps the design of the flag will: a yellow field, with a coiled rattlesnake above the words "DON'T TREAD ON ME". You can see a (fairly unclear) picture of the flag at this page.

The Gadsden flag was used during the American Revolution. There's some information about it here. While you might not expect a group of revolutionaries to symbolize their cause with a snake, the message was one that I like, and one that I'm glad to see the U.S. sending these days.

The coiled snake is dangerous, and can kill you. But it gives fair warning before it attacks, and only strikes in self-defense. So this flag is really saying: mess with us, and you'll wish you hadn't. But if you don't tread on me, we'll get along just fine.

I agree completely.
User Journal

Journal Journal: A Happy Ending

Good news on the iPod front. Turns out there's an Apple retail store in a mall not too far from me. I took my dead Pod there, the guy had a look at it, and they swapped it for a good one, right there on the spot. Suffice it to say that I'm a very happy camper right now, and I'll be even happier once I get an adapter to play songs through my car's cassette deck.

User Journal

Journal Journal: No joy in iPodville

So it turns out that the iPod will have to go back to Apple. That's not really a surprise, but I am a bit disappointed in how long it's going to take. They're going to mail me shipping materials to use in sending it back, which "should arrive in a few days", and I have no idea when I'll get it back from them.

Sigh . . .

I'm also a bit curious about the whole procedure I had to go through to get even this far. Going through the Apple web site, I had to enter the iPod's serial number which was then checked out before I was told that my unit "qualifies for this program". I can't help but wonder just how well-known this issue is within Apple, and whether they shipped me a unit that never stood a chance of working. I'd be most unhappy if that were the case. I guess I'll never know.

User Journal

Journal Journal: iDoh

Got me an iPod today, but I think it's dead. I can't get it to do anything, and it doesn't seem to be charging up no matter what I connect it to -- Firewire port on my PowerBook, Firewire port on my PC or the "portable charger" that came with it. Hunh. Presently updating all the firmware/OS/apps on the PB to see if that will help.

OK, got the latest & greatest OS (9.2.2, anyway, 10.1 is coming through the mail but it ain't here yet), firmware and all other assorted stuff that you get through SoftwareUpdate. Let's see . . .

No joy. The thing continues to do a perfect imitation of a brick. Grrrr...

Well, great. There's a known bug, and the fix on their web page involves letting the little marvel sit, unpowered, for 24 hours. I guess I'll find out if that's it tomorrow.

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