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User Journal

Journal Journal: Bye Slashdot 2 3

And now on the regular website I click "Account" to look for a way to delete my account, and all it does is darken the page. Tried in Firefox and it loaded, and of course there's no way to delete the account. To hell with this.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Bye Slashdot 1

The mobile version of the site? What the hell?

I click links in my email notifications and have to scroll down to read the actual post, and now I was writing a comment which got lost. I wrote my comment, clicked the "login to post" button, and on logging in it brings me to the home page and loses my post. Jesus Christ monkey balls!

It's been a fun few years, but it's now at an end. This is no-longer funny.

User Journal

Journal Journal: SWTOR

Anyone else enjoying SWTOR as much as I am?

Sith Inquisitor, Sorcerer Heals... the whole game is just amazingly fun.

And no pandas to be seen, at least in the immediate future.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Suggestion for 8

It would be nice to have the karma scores on each reply to your posts here, so that you can get a sense if replies are worth reading. Also it would be really nice to have a link to on the masthead.
User Journal

Journal Journal: Hello Again Slashdot 6

EDIT: I accidentally submitted this journal entry as a story because of all the changes in the Slashdot UI. I assumed that Slashcode would be more intuitive than this. The following is my latest journal entry, now that I've figured out where it goes.

Hello folks, just touching base with my Slashdot journal. It's been a long time since I've written anything here and I'd like to start by saying I've made a lot of changes in my life since then.

I quit World of Warcraft, fully stocked my kitchen with fresh veggies and healthy food, joined a gym, started working with a trainer and I'm fucking happier than I've ever been! :)

My job is going well, I'm getting ready to buy a new 4wd SUV and I'm happy with my life again, thanks to my family and IRL friends. Any suggestions on fuel efficient vehicles that fit this description are welcome.

I missed Slashdot quite a bit since I was last here and just to let you know I've been over at Reddit, but that's kinda fun and stuff although it's not the same as the nerdy goodness of this fucking awesome website.

I wanna wish all you guys health, wealth and happiness.

User Journal

Journal Journal: fb down?

seems that there's a bit of an outage. happening for you as well?

User Journal

Journal Journal: My Tokyoflash watch design

Tokyoflash has been making 'special' watches for a while. They're generally not for everyone because they aren't practical, but they are very appealing to the /. crowd. The reason being you need to "learn" how to read time for each watch and they can be VERY different from 1 model to the next.

I just recently found out they have a contest to design watches that they *could* make if they get good approval ratings. If they do, then they will be moved to technical consideration to see if and how they could be made.

So after looking at some previous entries, I thought to myself "these designers have to be pretty smart/creative to come up with alternative time pieces." So then I thought about it and said to myself, "why can't I make one of these?" and came up with a few designs - my first being "Cross Time," an idea I've had in mind for a standard watch but that happens to work well with their style of "telling time."

If my design gets to the next stage, then it's possible that it gets made. If it goes into production then Tokyoflash will offer $20,000 for my design, or royalties on a per-sale basis. Pretty cool right?

If you can, please check out the watch and vote yes if you like it!
User Journal

Journal Journal: Self-modifying code (wat) in MS GW-BASIC 3.23

1 REM my super cool game
51 GOTO 6552965529
61 PRINT "game over!"
62 END
521 ON ERROR GOTO 52529
522 PRINT "wat";
523 GOTO 1652916529
651 PRINT "you lose!"
652 GOTO 61
6551 RESUME 521
16529 LOCATE ,1
16551 IF ERL>0 AND ERL<65529 THEN PRINT "you win!"
16621 GOTO 61
52529 PRINT "the universe is broken!"
52659 RESUME 65129
65129 PRINT "you divided by zero didn't you!"
65529 GOTO 651

+1 internets to anyone who can figure out (and accurately describe) what it outputs, how it self-modifies, or in general just about anything about it worth knowing. Hint: the GW-BASIC tokenizer is doing weird things.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Oh, shit. 28

About a year and a half ago, my wife met a really cool lady while doing community theater. Her boyfriend turned out to be a computer nerd, like me. In that year and a half, my wife and this woman grew very close, having similar interests and character. Although I tried to befriend the boyfriend, he always seemed distant. We knew, from his girlfriend, that he had had a "bad" childhood. We just never knew how bad, I guess. Yesterday at six AM, their house was raided by a fifteen man task force including state police, the FBI, and the district attorney's office. Because they had been investigating him for a year, and had the house under observation for a month, they knew they did not need the SWAT team for a flash-bang entrance, as was common in these cases. They were looking for child pornography, and they found it. Not "barely legal" stuff, two to six year olds, in violent and incestuous situations. He admitted guilt, at least according to the police, who questioned him away from his girlfriend. Yes, I realize that could be an interrogation tactic, but he also never protested his innocence to her, and seemed to know exactly why the raid was happening.

The raid was professional and the police were amazingly courteous. They found about an eighth of pot and quite a bit of paraphernalia, and asked whose it was. She admitted that her mom is an old hippie and had left a bunch of bongs there, but the rest was hers, that she used to calm herself down because she had hyperthyroidism, which is true. They let her keep everything and joked that, after this, she'd probably need it. The police doing this kind of work probably look on pot like they look on jaywalking, technically illegal, but not worth their time. They had a list of specific files that had been downloaded and came prepared with the utilities to scan any electronic device or media on the premises. The fact that he used Linux didn't phase them for a second. She gave up all the passwords she knew. As soon as they found the first match, about an hour and a half into things, he was cuffed and taken away. The raid lasted another three and a half hours after that, as the police methodically searched for additional evidence.

She had class, and needed her laptop, so they scanned that and gave it back to her right away, but she couldn't go to class because, if you leave the scene of an investigation, you can't come back until they are done. Which meant she couldn't go buy cigarettes, either, she was out, and none of the police smoked, the poor thing. So she pulled some hair out, strand by strand. The police had a rookie with them they assigned to her, probably like "Watch what we do and make sure she doesn't freak out." They set up two tables in her driveway. Anything potentially dangerous was brought there, as well as electronics and media. Other things were opened, searched, and placed on the floor. They took all hard drives and electronic components. They searched stacks of blank CDs, looking for any hidden amongst the blanks. They took all hand labeled CDs. They felt all cushions carefully, but not finding anything, did not rip them open. They opened all boxes, jars, bags, etcetera, and searched them.

I know all this because we spent about five hours last night going over it with her. If you ever have a friend go through a traumatic experience, this is the best thing you can do for them. Just listen, as they say the same things over and over again. Heck, when they slow down, ask questions to get them going again. Encourage them to show their feelings about it, too, if they cry or rage or shake or whatever, so much the better. The earlier you can get them to do it, the better, because (according to some psychological theories as I understand them) during traumatic, emotional events, the rational mind shuts down and disassociates at least a little. The experience is stored in memory as an undifferentiated lump with heavy emotional triggers attached. If it isn't processed, anything associated with the event can trigger strong emotions, once again causing the rational mid to shut down a little. Having one's rational mind shut down all the time is sub-optimal. She is going to clean up, move all his stuff to storage, and smudge the place with sage, which normally would earn an eye-roll from me, but this is exactly the place for that ritual. It's not magic, it's psychology.

The thing is, she had broken up with him the week before, and it was under consideration for a long time, because he just couldn't get his shit together after his dad died two years ago. He hadn't worked in years, he didn't do anything around the house, he just didn't do anything. He never wanted to hang out with me, even though we have similar interests and had fun conversations at parties. She would come home and find him crying on the couch. He doesn't remember much of his childhood, what he does remember is terrifying. His dad was a hoarder, and they were divorced when he was very young. His mom treated him like a boyfriend. His girlfriend reported seeing his mother sit on his lap and stroke his hair. He's thirty five. He had not had sex with his girlfriend in six or eight months.

I knew some of this before the incident so if it seems I rushed to judgment yesterday it is only because so many things suddenly made much more sense in this new light. It is still possible he is innocent of everything. It depends on exactly what they found, I suppose, and they have a year long record of someone, using several different IP addresses which they can now connect securely to him, I believe, viewing a great deal of very disturbing things online. They read the titles and descriptions of all of them to my wife's friend. We had a large bust of a child pornography ring here last month, actual production of the stuff, and the police admitted that there were fifteen additional people being raided here yesterday. I believe he had also recently befriended a young autistic man of twenty four or so who has young children. The police asked if he he had had any contact with people with young children, and his girlfriend told them that he had, and who they were, so they could question them. In retrospect, I'm glad I didn't get closer to this guy. My cousin has young kids and they are over at our house a lot. Again, I'm not saying this man actually did anything to children himself or intended to. But I see a lot of data points that fit a certain class of patterns of human psychological illness here.

So that's about it. That's all I know at this point. My wife and I are glad that we can be there for her friend while she goes through this, it isn't over for her yet, not by a long shot. Her family owns the trailer park (no snickers, it's very nice) where she lives (in a three bedroom double wide that is as nice as my place, and why am I worried about class issues right now?) She may have to testify, that depends a lot on him, I imagine. We don't even know where he is being held. No local police were involved, it was all state and federal. He called and left a message for her, said not to believe anything they said, asked her to pray for him, and asked her to help bail him out. His bail is eighty thousand, so someone would have to some up with eight. There is no way in hell she is going to put up any money. Note that in his message, again he did not directly protest innocence, he said, "Don't believe them." I believe there is a high risk that if he did get out, he would kill himself, which is why I made the comment yesterday. I was empathizing with what I can only imagine a person in his apparent situation must be going through. That's one of my flaws, I can't really shut off my empathy. It makes it hard to be around people sometimes, or even watch certain kinds of movies or television, like the original British version of The Office took me a really long time to warm up to, I always felt too much empathy towards the character Michael Scott to laugh at him. But I'm babbling now, I guess I don't really have anything else to say at present.


Journal Journal: The Intro and The Outro

Over there, Eric Clapton, ukulele.... Hi Eric!
On my left Sir Kenneth Clark, bass sax.... A great honour, sir.
And specially flown in for us, a session's gorilla on vox humana.
Nice to see Incredible Shrinking Man on euphonium,
Drop out with Peter Scott on duck call,
Hearing from you later Casanova, on horn,
Yeah! Digging General de Gaulle on accordion....
Really wild, General! Thank you, sir.
Roy Rogers on Trigger.

User Journal

Journal Journal: So Long, Slashdot 2

The time has come to say goodbye to Slashdot. Slashdot and I had a good run together but, as all too often happens with relationships, we've grown apart.

In this case, that's thanks mainly to the changes in the meta-moderation system that once kept rampant trolling and fanboy-ism in check. No longer, however; now the various fanboys--MS, Apple, Android, Freetards--are allowed to run rampant with impunity. The once vibrant debates no longer exist, replaced by mere name calling. I'm afraid that the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory has been proven once again. I get enough of that in my real life, I don't need it online too.

So long, Slashdot, and good luck. I'll drop by once in a while to see how you're fairing.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Making it safer for people with Alzheimer's at night

I tell people: "The best way to learn about Alzheimer's is to read about it." Some, like myself, could argue that things are best learned first hand. But this is something that you don't want to have to learn "first hand."

In taking care of someone who has Alzheimer's, I've discovered something a few years back that is VERY useful. Here's some background first.

Those who take care of people with Alzheimer's, more specifically those who have them in their homes (like family members) know that the night time can be VERY difficult. It's not unusual to say my loved one walks like a ghost in the night only to frighten anyone who sees them because they creep so quietly that you have no idea they're there until they're on top of you!

Leaving a light on can be a problem because it can keep other family members up. Leaving no lights on can be dangerous as the person with Alzheimer's could wake up and walk around (as they all do) and fall and hurt themselves. Many will just put a night light in the socket and hope for the best. Those lights generally don't provide enough light to get around safely (especially if the person has cataracts). So I looked for a better solution. You could always put a stronger bulb in the night light... But that bothers those who are sleeping (and caring/watching the person at night).

I came across a motion sensor for about $20 at Harbor Freight & Tools one day. I didn't expect it to work well for the price, but it did surprisingly well! I plugged the stronger bulbed night light into the motion sensor and Voilà! Now there is enough light to safely see a ghost walking around in the middle of the night AND it'll only turn on when it detects motion. But as you can imagine, this can still bother others sleeping in the same room with the constant on and off. So I had to come up with another device...

A few years ago I bought some lamps that had a translucent blue glass shade with an additional transparent glass shade outside of that. It's a modern looking lamp, and the shades look like a cylinder in another cylinder. So when you turned the lamp on, it looked awesome! So awesome, that the light blinded you because the blue glass wasn't thick/dense/dark enough to diffuse the light enough to not hurt your eyes. So I ended up modifying it. I cut some aluminum foil to the exact size of the inside cylinder and wrapped it around about 1/4 - 1/3 of the way around. This in effect blocked the light from coming at you directly and actually made the lamp look better as the lamp really lit up blue instead of blinding sky blue. This also helped with more directional light as the foil served as a reflector. (A friend even told me I should try to sell the design hah!).

So using that experience/knowledge, I bought some Japanese style paper lamps (the round ones). I hung the blue paper lamp (can you spot the trend?) just off from the corner of the bedroom. I cut some aluminum foil to size of the supporting metal bracket (a little frame that props the paper lamp "open") and wrapped that around the bulb about 80%-90% so that only a little light comes out the back. I purchased a very low watt soft florescent bulb (like 8 or 10 watts) and threw that in there.

The motion sensor I mounted in the very top corner of the bedroom and angled it downward. It helps that the person with Alzheimer's bed is in direct line of sight (this is useful). So whenever they move *in* bed, the light goes on. Just seeing the light is on puts them at ease and actually prevents them from getting out of bed to "see where they are." Obviously, when they DO get out of bed (naughty!) they're safe as they can see well enough to make out where to walk and what to avoid.

The best benefit of this set up, is because of the way the sensor is mounted and the lamp is hung, the person who sleeps in the same room and takes care of them can't trigger the motion sensor because the lamp is blocking them from it. So they can move about (even use their laptop when they should be sleeping! Naughty!) and not worry about turning the light on and waking up the sleeping person.

You would think such a thing would be the first thing that comes to mind when dealing with a person who has Alzheimer's, but it's not. Alzheimer's is something that can happen so quickly to some, that you really never have time realize/learn how to manage it until it's too late. You would also think that it'd be easy to find some sort of device that works just like this but isn't such a hassle. There isn't.

While searching for night lights that have motion detectors, day light sensor, battery back up and other random features I noticed that nothing like that exists. So for those of you who are hardware hackers, theres a freebie for you. Contact me if you want the designs!

Hopefully, someone somewhere will be able to use my ideas here and help make their life easier and safer for both them and their loved ones.
The Matrix

Journal Journal: Matt Simmons 2

When you are REALLY on to something, you have an accident.

Sybil Edmonds distracts from the REAL capture of US by Israel. She will have a long and uneventful life.

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You can write a small letter to Grandma in the filename. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS, University of Washington