Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Journal Journal: Mystery Patent Theater 3000

I was watching a few episodes of MST3k recently, one of which was Hercules Against the Moon Men. This is the episode which introduced the concept of DEEP HURTING . I have had that soundbite stuck in my head since then.

Enter the farcical massive patent dump by Mr. Allen. It is but the newest example of stupid patent litigation over concepts of information systems and algorithms. News of these patent suits is becoming more burdensome on (at the very least) my sanity. And these patent problems are relentless. So when I was attempting to think of some phrase which best embodied my perception of this endless stream of patent stupidity, DEEP HURTING is what came to mind.

More extensively, following patents on concepts used with computers and information systems is enough like the "plot" of MST3k that I'm starting to think that the only way to survive this with our sanity will be to laugh and mock our way through them. Oh, sure, we'll need to take them seriously at times to work around them or invalidate them, yet that alone will not be sufficient to preserve sanity. Only, I'm not even sure how something like this could be done.

Or maybe I'm already going mad, and this is the stupidest thing you've heard in the past 24 hours.




Journal Journal: Because it's just that wrong

(for every denotation and connotation of "wrong" that I can recall offhand), and because nobody has^W^Wfew have yet commented on something which I find particularly outrageous, I am repeating the following comment which I made on the "Creative sucks" story:

From the manual to this product:

Xonar D2X is introducing an innovative technology ÂDirectSound 3D Game
Extensions v1.0 (DS3D GX 1.0)- to restore DirectSound 3D Hardware acceleration
mode and its subsidiary EAX effects on Windows Vista for 3D games. Unlike some
proprietary API like OpenAL
, DS3D GX doesn't require games to support OpenAL
API. All existing games compatible with Microsoft DirectX and DirectSound 2D/3D
will be supported with DS3D GX technology. Before you start EAX and DS3D HW
games, please enable DS3D GX on the Xonar D2X audio center, and disable the
function after the games.

(Emphasis added.)

I think I just now died a little bit on the inside.

I mean, that's just wrong, on so many levels:

  1. It is likely factually incorrect, in that the specification can be followed and implemented by anyone.
  2. It implies the same meaning for "open" in "OpenAL" as for "Office Open XML" (i.e., doublespeak).
  3. However, since Asus is talking about Creative, and I'm more inclined to trust Asus over Creative, and since Creative seems to possess proprietary, hardware-assisted OpenAL implementations for its cards under Windows, there's a kernel of truth in the statement, and "that's just wrong" (i.e., it's repugnant to the principles of "open").

In conclusion, Asus should not have made that statement but Creative needs to DIAF, for they are one tumor comprising the cancer that is killing gaming, etc.


Journal Journal: "We couldn't do diddly poo offensively..."

Watching this gem from the past is really taking the sting off of being humiliated on national TV. Again. With the added bonus of horrendous injuries!

[sigh] Oh well, there's always next year...

(I might have become ill today, and if I did, then going to that game didn't help that any. And yet, even though "we just got our ass totally kicked", if I do wake up with a fever, I still won't regret having gone to the game. Also, looking back on the past, I think it can be safely said that we've come a long way, even if we have regressed in the past year.)

(No comments, 'cause all I really want right now is to vent.)


Journal Journal: One of the fun things about /. and the Internet in general

is that you can insult the intelligence of people who have a hell of a lot more experience in some subject area than you do and not realize it until you're about to send them a reply taking the insult to the next level. Whoops!

Edit: ...and then watch as an AC says what you wouldn't, and crudely at that. And gets modded up for it. "lol, Internet" indeed.

User Journal

Journal Journal: OH SHI... needle time

Let's hope the Clorazepate + Ativan + Benadryl mix will be strong enough that I don't flip out.

Result: minimal flip-out---had to be held down a bit---but best of all, no pass-out.

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Crime and other madness

Heh, who doesn't love a good suicide by cop? Well, one such attempt happened right outside my house last night. Woo! (The guy miraculously missed my family's cars. I also slept through the whole affair.) (Of course, the day before, some guy around the corner had a gun pointed at him while he was taking out his garbage. Happy ending though: a fortuitious noise distracted the gentleman-thief ( HA! Good one! You really outdid yourself this time.), and the neighbor engaged in unfair play with a low blow from his foot.) (Oh, and some old lady also got mugged within a block two weeks ago.)

I know the negotiator quoted, having been his patient for a time (of his private practice, mind you, not as part of police business); he's a great guy. (I really ought to think about resuming therapy with him again at some time in the near future.)

Anyway, while the whole incident is tragic, you really have to laugh at many things in the story: Jim Arey's sarcasm (I'm pretty sure that his first comment is full of it); the fact that the man in question works for the paper publishing the story; the mowing-down of the plentiful advertising placed by contractors, roofers, painters, etc., as a symbolic yet misguided act of anger with the world.

I say you really have to laugh, but you only really need laugh when in the midst of it all, as it reminds you that things really aren't as bad as they seem. (Or so I see it---I who was away at school at the time---I whose home was not inundated, nor suffered significant wind damage or water leakage---I whose family is well-situated financially, especially considering the occupations: maritime attorney (think of all the rigs and pipelines destroyed, in the course of whose repair many men may become mangled) and interior decorator (think of all the homes ruined, many of whose owners desire a pleasing interior to offset the unpleasant reality awaiting them without)---I who as an individual as of yet contribute nothing to society but hot air (and, as this post is proving, quite a bit of it) and other, non-communicative waste products. Therefore, YMMV.)

Yes, this small story is pretty much a microcosm of the entire aftermath experience: to some degree, whether small or large, we have all become quite mad, a hazard onto ourselves. So let us all laugh as benign madmen, lest we become malignant madmen. Or something like that.



Journal Journal: Czech Republic 3 - USA 0: No energy 1

Tentative on offense, falling short in defense, the team looked like uninspired shit. Maybe if Reyna's shot had gone in... but where was the follow-up? I didn't see any energy again until the 75th minute. Also, more evidence of a lack of offensive initiative: did the US commit even a single offsides? I don't think so.

The US didn't try for any set pieces. They nearly always went short on corners and quick restarts on fouls. (Certainly there was no passing through the Czech defense, considering the number of times the US attackers sent the ball back to their own defense.) Perhaps they felt that trying for set-piece goals was futile; the Czech team did seem taller in general, so that could have been a strategy.

Obviously, this is not the end of the world. Recovery is more than possible. Just don't come out flat against Italy, or it's over (duh).

Discuss. Or don't. Whichever.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Well this morning sure has been fun already... 1

I'm truly sorry for that last post. I was distressed at that time. Of course, I am currently distressed as well, but for a different reason. I also apologize for all the medical stuff. Others have it far worse off and have a legit reason to record their status down.

First, a bit of background. Starting some time after the restart of school in early January but before the end of the month, I began noticing a recurring feeling after eating. What feeling is that? Why, it's the feeling I had with this incident. The abstract Latin title very liberally translated means "I ate some old food, and I'm trying to vomit it up, [but it won't.]" The feeling was like food being regurgitated but getting stuck in my esophagus. I wasn't nauseous, but I had chills and cold sweats, which usually accompany my nausea in general. I also began drinking large amounts of water to try to settle my stomach.

This started happening more and more frequently. I finally decide to consult the Intarweb. Having done my little hypochondriac thing, thence I came to the conclusion I was experiencing the onset of diabetes. It made sense at the time; like the kidney stones, diabetes also runs in the family.

By luck, my father called soon after. I explained my symptoms and my conclusion. He said that, as I described it, it sounds like the acid reflux he deals with---yes, that runs in the family too. I say OK, I haven't had a physical in two years, let's go get one over my spring break.

The doctor says that they do indeed appear similar symptomatically, but a blood test should confirm the matter. Oh fuck, that means needles. Doctor prescribes Xanax and something else to sedate me. Two days later, I try, but the medicine is complete weaksauce. I think they also screwed up my urine sample. Figures. So I don't have a definite answer yet. I'm probably going to get a gastroscopy at some point, but that also involves needles. In the meantime, I take a Prilosec every day. It has been helping, but obviously not fully.

If we backtrack to the week before spring break, I really began destabilizing there. I couldn't code anything, so I most likely fucked over some groups I was a part of for some CS classes.

After break, I still didn't feel like doing anything. Didn't go to class; didn't do any work. Barracading myself up in my room being depressed is not what I want to be doing. Not all the time, at least, and certainly not in a state of depression. I had an inverted sleep schedule for most of the week (dd "I mope all night, and I sleep all day!" dd).

Let's skip to the boring narrative about tonight: Yesterday at sundown was the first night of Passover. I live with a whole bunch of other Jews, so breaking kosher during Pesach is bad form. Everybody was eating dinner at various sedarim, and I didn't want to go anywhere, so I (stupidly) forego dinner (did I ever mention that I'm an idiot?). Maybe around 11PM, I got hungry and ate a few poptarts---the only food I had left, other than some insanely old tortilla chips and a box of hummus mix(?) (did I mention that I'm an idiot?).

At about 2:30AM, I notice that my leg is spazzing more than usual, that my pulse has begun to race, and that I'm breathing quite irregularly. I figure that I'm really hungry, so I make two more poptarts.

Just as they finish, at 2:47AM, I feel something pop in the side of my neck, and thus the fun begins. I think it really was vertibrae cracking (you know, in the same way you crack your knuckles), but at the time, I interpreted it as an aneurysm. One can just imagine the psychosomatic symptoms. I even wake someone else up and ask him to help convince me that I'm not going to die. Later, I was measuring the tachycardia, trying to convince myself that I wasn't going to die by arrhythmia. Still later, I thought it stopped on two separate occasions. I'm now starting to wonder whether all of my current physical health problems are psychosomatic in nature.

It's almost 8AM, so I'm going to go run down to the student health center and see if they will do something---anything---about this.


Journal Journal: An epiphany (and not a positive one) 3

Whenever I have complained here about any detrimental event in my life, I imagine that it has been mostly about problems due to outside influence; and when it has been due to flaws in my person, I imagine that said flaws have been minor and trivial ("I imagine", because I'm at the edge of my access point's range, and I don't want to continuously hold my machine in the weird angle required for Internet access in order to verify this).

Well, that's not the case this time.

Whenever I have previously felt compelled to troll for sympathy (or whatever it is I seek), I have restrained myself. I rationalize this by telling myself that nobody likes a whiner.

This time, I will permit this to go through. (However, everything is subject to (de)intensification.)

So what did I realize that I must announce in such a dramatic manner?

I have finally seen for myself just how pathologically schizoid-narcissistic* I am, and how even one small example behavior out of a myriad of ways can make life miserable.

I may elaborate when I wake up tomorrow afternoon---if I even have the strength to look at this entry again.

* This is not self-diagnosis---well, at least I don't think it is, unless I manufactured those memories of my being told this by my doctor (years ago), in which case I certainly still have a problem.


Heh. Saw the first subject header: "So what?"

I don't know, I guess I just needed to vent. You should be glad that I do not inveigh online against myself more often.

Also, it should be noted that, having experienced and read about such things, I know enough to be dangerously wrong. And to top things off, I spend way too much time observing myself, and since you're often blind to certain things that you do and say, self-assessment is incomplete at best.

And just to complete the diagnostic portrait, add avoidant personality and generalized anxiety.

Really, I don't think I would be complaining if I did not have a number of behaviors consistent with the above (which I am able to supress from being represented here, given the textual, asynchronous, and impersonal or anonymous nature of Internet forums like /.), or if these behaviors were temporary or non-pervasive.

Example: I did not walk out of the front door of my previous house for over three years. At times, I am still weary of being seen leaving my domicile on foot, to the point of sometimes not going where I wish to go.

I believe that qualifies as behavior that is pervasive and disruptive.

...aaand the feeling which burns in my viscera, indicating that I have overexposed myself, has begun. Joy.


Journal Journal: They liiiiied.

Anybody remember this story?

I just got back from it. It wasn't a "panel discussion between opposing sides of the P2P downloading issue"; it was a panel discussion from one side of the P2P downloading issue: one RIAA lawyer, fresh off amici curae in MGM v. Grokster; one head of a P2P tracking company; one independent record label head; and one member of a band unsigned by a label.

Basically, it was the usual propoganda, mitigated somewhat in bits and pieces from the three non-RIAA, who gave the usual swan song about how people are losing their jobs, how the industry is tanking, blah blah blah, which we dispute.

I'm not asking for Larry frickin' Lessig, but an EFF representative really could have been useful.

It's not like it really matters, though. I was probably the only person in the audience who was there willingly; the rest of them were fraternity and sorority members, there since the school basically forced each of those organizations to send a percentage of their membership to the presentation.

Basically, the indoctrination continues...

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal Journal: Last night sucked 3

OK, so it's about 11PM, and I start getting this horrific pain in my lower back, on the right. Now, earlier in the evening, I was cleaning a bathroom and got window cleaner in a cut, so I thought it might be some kind of reaction or complication (I can't exactly say I could think straight in such pain), so I started drinking tons of water, thinking that this would flush any toxins. Well, despite drinking water until I felt like Mr. Creosote, I couldn't flush anything. In fact, I couldn't get anything out.

After three hours, now I was worried. I called a friend who has a car to drive me to a hospital. By this point, I was hurting like crazy. When we got to the ER, it was relatively crowded, so I was destined for a long wait; however, due to all that water I drank earlier not going anwhere, I vomitted it out (all water, no chunks). This promptly freaked the staff out, and I moved to the front of the line.

Honestly, though, all this did was make it so that when the pain leveled up again, I had a room in which to moan and whine and thrash involuntarily. I was in so much pain, I didn't even mind the IV needle going in---and I usually freak out when I deal with needles.

At some point, the pain stopped. I don't know exactly when; I must have passed out at some point, because I hadn't seen a doctor yet, so they couldn't have given me any pain reliever.

When the doctor finally came by, after reviewing several other options with him (poisoning, anxiety), he came to suspect kidney stones, which was further evidenced by a urine test. This makes perfect sense, because (duh!) the pain was in my kidney area, and because kidney stones are prevalent in my family (my father and his brother).

At 6AM, I went for a CT scan. (The machine used looked so Stargate.)

The scan confirmed the stone further. You could clearly see a white dot between the all-white kidney and the grey bladder (which was very full at the time of the scan---in fact, between the massive amout of water I drank and the IV... well, you get the picture). The doctor said there might be one forming in the left kidney as well, but he couldn't be sure. So now I've got access to Vicodin, in case it happens again.

I got back to my dorm room about 9:30AM, and I promptly slept until 6PM.

I think that the Wikipedia's "Symptoms" section of its "Kidney stone" entry best sums this experience up:

Kidney stones are usually idiopathic and asymptomatic until they obstruct the flow of urine. Symptoms can include acute flank pain ("renal colic"), nausea and vomiting, restlessness, dull pain, hematuria, and possibly fever if infection is present. Acute renal colic is described as one of the worst types of pain that a patient can suffer from.

(Emphasis, having experienced it, is mine.)

Role Playing (Games)

Journal Journal: An amusing post

Not that I play DnD or anything, but this post brought a smile to my face.

Actually, the most of the comments accompanying that review are funny.

Slashdot Top Deals

Logic doesn't apply to the real world. -- Marvin Minsky