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Books

Microsoft Patent Deems Comic Books Shameful 209

theodp writes "A newly-surfaced Microsoft patent application describes methods of secretly matching up individuals whose shared 'fringe interests' might be 'a source of shame or embarrassment' to them should they become known to society-at-large. No, not sexual preferences. A much bigger taboo. Comic books. 'For example,' explains Microsoft in its filing, 'an ambitious professional is not likely to divulge that he likes, say, comic books, even though quite true. Appreciably, certain affinities especially those relating to fringe interests, eccentricities, or topics about which there is a common misconception or very little mainstream familiarity or understanding are generally omitted rather than included in conventional descriptions. Typically, this is so because these affinities might be a source of shame or embarrassment or incur undue explanation.'"
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Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 202

Slashdot has one of the best discussion systems there is. It's grown and adapted over the years to meet various challenges and suit the needs of our users. A lot of time and effort has gone into it and we are always open to user input to help make it better. Some of our best ideas start as user suggestions and we appreciate the feedback. Of course they can't all be gems and sometimes the suggestions we get are unworkable or just bizarre. Here are a few of my favorite unhelpful, helpful suggestions.
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Slashdot's Disagree Mail Screenshot-sm 167

I get a lot of mail from obviously unbalanced people. Enough in fact, that I've often wondered if there was a institution that allowed their patients to only read Slashdot. We've even had a few visits from some questionable individuals. A man who tried to bribe me with a car if I let him "reverse engineer" Rob Malda's Life comes to mind. He insisted on Rob being present for the process and couldn't explain to me what it entailed, so I suggested he leave. The personal visits are rare, however, compared to the amount of mail I get. Here are a few of my favorites; let's hope these people have started to take their medication. Read below and don't be worried if you don't understand all of it.

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