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User Journal

Journal Journal: Mod Points

Wow, this is the first time since 2006 that I've had mod points.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Non-Beta Index Broken (Nope, I'm an idiot!) 5

This morning, when logging into Slashdot without JavaScript and with the beta index disabled in my account, the last stories I see are from yesterday, October 05, 2008. Turning on JavaScript doesn't show these stories. Only turning on JavaScript AND enabling the new, beta index, shows them.

As much as I generally avoid complaining, this is absurd. It's almost like you're trying to change the very nature of Slashdot out from under the people that have been reading it for 10 years now. If I wanted 'omg shiny', I wouldn't be here. I go here for reliability.

It's almost like you're trying to get rid of readers, though I'm sure my boss will be overjoyed that the site is basically unusable. Means he'll get more for his money.

UPDATE: I had kdawson and Zonk unchecked in the author's index. Though that leads me to another question: Why is the beta index not honoring my author's index settings?

User Journal

Journal Journal: You might want to turn on Classic Discussion System 3

I browse Slashdot at work with JavaScript off. Even if I didn't, I absolutely despise D2, the new discussion system. However, with JavaScript off, you get the following warning on every page:

"Without JavaScript enabled, you might want to turn on Classic Discussion System in your preferences instead."

That's all fine and dandy, but guess what? Even with that preference turned on (and I've toggled it on and then off again to check), D2 is still active (but doesn't work, thanks to NoScript) and I still get this warning.

Taco, the D2 system isn't exactly new. Could we perhaps get it working (or, I suppose in this case, not working) for people that wish to turn it off?

User Journal

Journal Journal: The Entitlement Generation 2

I'm (as a 20-something) am sick and tired of people from my generation acting while whiny, entitled twats (that's a technical term, and rhymes with bats). In a thread about AT&T and Version offering opt-in Internet monitoring for their customers, I mentioned (posting as AC as I normally do at work these days) that, if I had children, I would monitor their online activities. The first response from an Anonymous Coward was that I was a fascist big-brother and that I didn't trust my children. Now, maybe I was being trolled (quite likely, actually), but since I've been lax in my attendance of Biters Anonymous meetings, I just couldn't resist in backhanding the entitled little twat (again, a technical term).

I know this subject is older than steam (literally, just look up what Plato and Socrates had to say about the failings of later generations), but will someone please explain to me how many in my generation feel so entitled that any sort of restriction on things paid for by their parents (cell phone minutes, monitoring of Internet connection, restriction of driving hours on a car or car insurance paid for by their parents, a curfew while living at home, and so forth) is fascism. I didn't have a cell phone as a kid. My parents didn't buy me a car and they certainly didn't pay for my car insurance. My parents, did, however pay for their house, and while it did suck at the time, I didn't act like a spoiled little twat (again with the technical language!) when I had to be home for curfew.

Is it just teenage angst? Is it that this generation really is different? Is it just that I want people off my lawn? Is it that now that I'm a bit older, I can look with hindsight at my parents and see that they weren't evil overlords who set out to crush my high?

Bottom line if I had kids: I pay for the Internet. I will monitor what you do. That doesn't mean I sit with a window open and watch your textisms flying back and forth with your 'bff jill' in AIM. It doesn't mean that I read your email or that I follow every click you make with your mouse. It doesn't mean that I listen to your phone calls or randomly open up VNC to look at your desktop. It means that if I have a reason to suspect that you are doing something you shouldn't be doing, (trying to hook up online with someone twice your age from sugardaddies.com when you're 15 and in my house, giving out your name and address online, trying to break the law, or in some other way violating the rules of my house) I will dig through the logs of your online activity on the Internet connection I pay for, will listen to your telephone calls on the phone that I pay for, and search the bedroom you use that I pay for. It's a way of giving you notice that your online activities will be logged and will be referred to when needed, so govern yourself accordingly, and if you don't like it, you're free to not use the Internet, free to pay for your own phone, and free to move out.


Journal Journal: The End of an Era

I just heard some sad news on talk radio. George Carlin, the famous and controversial comedian, was found dead in a Santa Monica, California hospital this morning. I'm sure everyone in the Slashdot community will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

On the way to work today, I heard the news that George Carlin had died. As someone who spent a few years of his life trying his hand at stand-up comedy and utterly failing, I have a deep respect and an ever deeper admiration for the work and the person of George Carlin. It's hard being funny for other people, and it's even harder when you're on stage and they're in the audience. It's hard to make the connection that makes comedy work.

I learned two important things from George Carlin. First and foremost, I learned that the only true limits on speech are ones in your head. They may pass laws restricting what you can say. They may listen and transcribe the words you say, but if enough people are saying things that are outlawed, the government would never be able to round all of them up. If enough people said "fuck Bush" every time they picked up the phone, the people listening would have to suck it up and listen. The only person that can stop your free expression is you.

The second thing that I learned from George Carlin is that religion is a matter that is to be kept to yourself. While I was influenced by his reasons for why God doesn't exist (along with a well-timed philosophy course), one thing that his routines emphasized was that the beliefs of man were not rational, and thus, weren't fodder for reasoned, dispassionate debate. He might tell you that he believed in Joe Pesci or prayed to the Sun, but at the end of the day, we all knew that didn't matter. We took away the message that our religion may sustain us, but it is folly to assume that it will sustain everybody.

Thus ends the era of George Carlin. His legacy lives on in the comedians that have picked up his style and run with it. Comedy will never be the same. Thank you for showing the potential of human beings to be good and rational and illustrating the majority of the time when they are neither. Good night, sweet prince.

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