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Comment Obviously (Score 4, Interesting) 360

Is it really a surprise that a failing business like Yahoo! would ignore its users in an attempt to make money?

Look, the obvious lesson here is that no business can be trusted to keep secrets. Also: Water is wet, fire is hot. Don't give out anything you don't want to get out there, no matter what some PHB promises you.

Comment Increasingly inappropriately name (Score 4, Insightful) 396

At some point, we're going to have to accept that the devices we carry around with us aren't really "phones" anymore. They're powerful computers that happen to be able to make the odd phone call in between accessing the internet, playing games, taking photos and storing data.

That established, I'm pretty happy with my iPhone 4s. The glaring omission is turn-by-turn directions -- I consider it a public safety issue when I see people looking down at their phones trying to figure out what exit they need to get off on.

Comment Re:Laptops are easy. (Score 4, Interesting) 138

I work for a large company, large enough that I see people I don't recognize on our campus every single day.

Two years ago this weekend (Presidents Day, which is a holiday at our office) we had an enterprising thief roll a cart around our office around 5 PM on Friday, loading up laptops. Of course, by then most everyone had skipped out for their long weekend, but if someone was in the office he'd tell them it was for the "weekend virus scanner upgrade", promising people that their machines would be back on Tuesday morning.

I don't know this part for a fact -- our security people and management don't talk about this at all -- but I've heard it enough that I believe it: When someone objected to having their laptop taken, he'd act irritated and ask why they "didn't reply to any of the emails about the upgrade" and then make a show of updating his clipboard -- he'd collect the asset tag from the machine, office number and actually get the person to sign on the line.

I have no idea how many machines he made off with, but it was enough that we all had to suffer new BS security procedures for a year afterword. I would imagine that you could do this at pretty much any big office and get away with it.

Role Playing (Games)

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Announced for November 2011 231

Bethesda took advantage of the Video Game Awards this weekend to announce the fifth installment of the Elder Scrolls series, titled Skyrim. The game is planned for November 2011, and a teaser trailer has been posted on the Elder Scrolls website. Details are sparse, though the game will apparently run on an "all-new" engine.

The Push For Colbert's "Restoring Truthiness" Rally 703

jamie writes "A grassroots campaign has begun to get Stephen Colbert to hold a rally on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to counter Glenn Beck's recent 'Restoring Honor' event. The would-be rally has been dubbed 'Restoring Truthiness' and was inspired by a recent post on Reddit, where a young woman wondered if the only way to point out the absurdity of the Tea Party's rally would be if Colbert mirrored it with his own Colbert Nation.'"

Comment The originals really are something else (Score 5, Interesting) 140

Back when I was an intern with SGI, we took a day off* to visit the Chippewa Falls Museum**, which has a good-size collection of Control Data and Cray Supercomputer relics along with other items relevant to my interests***.

I got to poke around inside of an original Cray-1. To me, the most interesting thing about it was just how insanely packed the internal wiring was; I'd been expecting the intricate plumbing, but the sheer volume of wires running from Point A to Point B was really impressive. I mentioned this to the guy giving the tour, who turned out to be a retired manufacturing supervisor -- he told me that the hardest part of his job was finding women with both enough skill and small enough hands to handle the internal wiring jobs. The thing had been assembled *by hand*, every connection in this crazy bulk of wired clipped or soldered into place one after another.

Anyhow, after that I sat on the couch. It was not comfy.

* My boss was *pissed* about this -- she went around telling anyone that would listen that "interns are here to work, not go sightseeing". This marks the one and only time in my career that anyone in HR has ever done anything worthwhile, calling her up and telling her this was part of the program and she didn't get a vote.
** Seymour Cray moved to Chippewa Falls, his hometown, when he was still with Control Data because he felt most middle managers wouldn't want to drive that far just to bother him. Visionary man, that Seymour Cray.
*** Stuff from Leinenkugals.

Comment Seems legit to me (Score 1) 641

"Should event occur in urban areas.... Jesus.... (haunted) That's.. classified."

Seriously, people are complete and total retards. And I mean that in the 3rd grade definition, not in any clinical sense. This should not be news to anyone, especially those of us who've been kicking around the internet for more than a couple of weeks.

Comment Re:This is the loaded term (Score 1) 480

I realize that this being Slashdot and this being a bully thread we're going to get a lot of "woe is me" replies, but on the flip side kids don't become bullies just because they wake up and decide it'd be a fun way to pass the time. Based on my childhood sample, they do it because:

(a) It's the conflict resolution method they learned at home, either from dad beating the hell out of mom or both parents laying into the kid, or
(b) They're screwed up emotionally, often from abuse, and as children don't have any idea how to deal with it.

One of the bullies who caused me (and a lot of other kids) a lot of grief in middle school turned out to have been molested by his uncle. Another lived in a trailer park and had no mom and a dad who was constantly falling down drunk and, I suspect, physically abusive to him. These are just the two I know for sure about, I'm betting that this isn't some wildly exotic circumstance.

In retrospect, I'm the one who got off easy. What those poor kids had to deal with was far, far worse than having their books slapped out of their hands or the occasional bumps and bruises.

Comment Still worked out better than my own predictions (Score 5, Funny) 280

It's easy to make fun of Bill for his predictions, but I'll admit my own haven't worked out so great either. Here from 1995:

- By 2010, as many as 1 out of every 25 people will have an email account, causing massive slowdown of the FidoNet.
- I'll never be that old guy who gets his video-game ass handed to him by 13 year olds.
- Register Nah, that'd be a waste of $100.
- Being a programmer will be a totally safe field -- it's not like people in India will suddenly all get computers and start coding.


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