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Comment Maybe it's broke, I don't see any dots ;) (Score 1) 85

I don't see any collusion dots when I browse the web. I don't see any ads either. Zero.

Of course, the addons I have tacked onto Firefox might have something to do with that (Adblock Plus, AdblockPlus Pop-up addon, BetterPrivacy, Certificate Patrol, Cookie Monster, Element Hiding Helper for Adblock, HTTPS Finder, HTTPS-everywhere, Ghostery, and NoScript).

I've been adding to my Adblock Plus filter list for about a year and a half as well.

I won't make the claim that I'm not being tracked by someone with more Kung Fu than me. But they're gonna have to work at it.

Comment Is this guy in 2011? Really? (Score 1) 213

I don't get spam.

My school/work address has a pretty good spam filter anyway, but I have the option to disallow third parties from obtaining my email address via the university. Between those two, I get maybe 5 filtered messages a month in my junk email folder at school/work (same place).

At my own domain, I have my junk filter to blacklist any incoming address. I either read the message from the spam folder (without javascript and other nonsense), or if it's someone I want to hear from I whitelist the address (or domain). My spam folder has 650+ messages in it, 99% of which I never open.

I get a lot of work related status messages-- this server is down, so and so changed shifts, meetings or training coming up (although most meetings are just added to my calendar these days), new features added, etc. I have many of those filtered on the server because I really don't need to do anything with them when they come in.

It is rare that I need to reply to an email, and when I do it's usually a yes or no answer rather than a conversation. I think the last email conversation I had was in 2003. That's probably the last time I was on a non-work related high-traffic mailing list, too. Conversations now are via texting, Facebook, or Twitter; rarely by phone.

You're not supposed to read every email. I haven't done that in years. In an average day, I might read 5-6 messages. I scan subjects. Newsletters and such I read on the web, usually through Google Reader.

Author of TFA was either BS'ing to sell advertising space or BS'ing to get on /.

OR, the author of TFA is far enough behind the times that he still hasn't mastered this online communication thing yet. Perhaps he should ask his kids for help.

Comment My Linked-In non-story (Score 1) 169

Yes, I have a Linked-In profile/account. It lists where I work, and that I'm in school. I haven't logged into my account for at least a year, and that was only because someone from work wanted to add me to their network. If Linked-In disappeared tomorrow, I wouldn't lose anything and I wouldn't care.

Is the stock price worth it? Meh. I worked for a dot com the first time the bubble came around. The people that made money then were the founders, and the people/investment houses that had the resources to play the stock game. That Linked-In is (or is not) a product that people want to buy, is meaningless. Like ~11 years ago, those who held private stock are now rich. Those who know how to work the stock market will make money.

But what's Linked-In going to do for me as a user now that it's worth all this money? Not much.

Comment No time like the present (Score 1) 204

It's fun to remember those days. I loved my Commodore 64, and later my PCjr (shush). Telehack is pretty cool.

Today I have a SSH app on my iPhone (green on black, of course). I have a dual-monitor Fedora 14 box on my desk, and next to that I have a HP DL380 dual Xeon server (both machines were retired as surplus). I also have a MacBook with OS X. I have DSL at home, and an orgasmically fast network available on campus which I can reach through a VPN. (I'm not counting the Arduino stuff, or the HP-16C calculator.)

I've never added it all up, but I've probably got more computing power in my backpack and pockets on a given day, than many ARPANET *sites* had back then.

Yes, I'm still pretty 0ld 5k00l- but damn, we have such nice toys now. I think I'll stay here. (Although I will confess to having wanted to click a 'Like' button on this article, I'm so used to Facebook. I'll hang my head in shame and report to the dungeon for my flogging.)

Comment Re:evidence? (Score 1) 435

You're right, no one looks at Facebook, and thinks "that's the Internet." That's because there is no such thing as an Internet to people who have never had to be without one.

When I was a "young person", and I wanted to talk to friends, I picked up the phone and dialed my friend's number. It didn't matter to me that there was a time when there was no phone system, or that you once had party lines. I picked up, dialed the phone, it rang, and we talked. Then we hung up. We didn't care that there was a "phone system" and that there were "other applications" for it.

Now, if you're a "young person", you use Facebook to see what other people are up to, make plans, and see and comment on the results of things (aka photos). You use Youtube to share/watch/upload videos. You use Stumbleupon to, well, find stuff.

There is no "Internet" to these people, because there is no need to waste time thinking about it in order to use it. Back in the day, when it really was a challenge to get a home computer on the internet, and you had to call in and tie up the only phone line in the house-- then, the act of getting online actually involved doing something and involved thinking about something.

So no, there's no difference between Facebook and the Internet. It's "I'm seeing what my friends are doing."


Comment Re:Using what works is what matters (Score 1) 319

Two semesters ago (as a student), I had a Calculus 3 class that was supposed to be in a "smart" classroom, complete with surround sound, projector, PC and Mac, automatically dimming lights, etc. Due to enrollment, the class got moved to a different classroom that had an old fashioned overhead projector and a blank space on the wall instead of a screen. The professor wanted to use the smart classroom, but we were ultimately stuck in the low tech "normal" classroom, so he printed his lecture notes (skeletal notes, which we filled in during the lectures in class) to transparencies, and uploaded the notes to Blackboard. (The main reason for wanting the smart classroom was being able to show graphs using Winplot and similar tools.)

I learned the material in that class from taking good notes, doing the homework, working with classmates, and reviewing the notes-- which I would have needed to do anyway. I never missed the "smart" stuff.

The same semester, I had a Zoology class that was in a smart classroom, and was based on Powerpoint presentations that included video clips and animations. Most of the time, the video presentations were distractions- they were meant to enhance the reading and lecture, but I never felt they did. Some of the animations (DNA replication) were useful, if they weren't longer than a couple of minutes. Again, I learned the most from taking good notes, reading the material, and working with other students.

On the student side of the class, I use a Livescribe Pulse Smartpen to record lectures along with my notes, and find that very useful-- but I leave my laptop in my bag.

Comment Ham radio won't replace your cell phone. (Score 1) 376

Ham radio will not be more reliable than your cell phone, unless you are exceptionally lucky.

A 5W dualband (2m/70cm) handheld will possibly get you to a local repeater, if you are high enough up out of the trees and you don't have a mountain blocking your signal from reaching the repeater. Unfortunately, the only way to really test this is to be out in the boonies with your radio-- but often the groups that maintain repeaters will post coverage maps on their websites that will give you some idea.

The real problem is who will answer your call. I live in a medium sized city with 15 repeaters; unless there's a scheduled net going on, those repeaters are usually very quiet. I imagine that in the backcountry where there are fewer people, it follows that there would be fewer hams listening. If you're really going to consider ham radio as a backup plan, try to get in touch with local hams ahead of time and see who monitors what. It won't help you to be able to reach a repeater if no one's going to answer and be able to help you.

A portable HF radio might be a better option because you'll be able to reach more stations, but it will take more than a pound of space in your pack. You will also probably reach people who are far away from you are, and won't know local conditions (terrain, roads, landmarks, agencies), so it will be difficult for them to send the right help to the right place.

That being said, check out HFPack at; those guys play outside and take radios along. Also, the Burning Hams Mailing list at is interesting to monitor, especially in the months leading up to Burning Man each year.

Comment Information wants to be free, right? (Score 1) 415

I saw someone post on slashdot once (or twice) that information wants to be free. Free the information from its tyrant captors! We need to share! People listened. They heard. They decided that yes, information should be free, and they decided that sharing and openness should apply to their lives in the form of social networking.

Zuck is saying that people want to share information about themselves, and he's right. If he were wrong, Facebook never would have left the dorm it was created in.

You don't have any privacy anyway. Even Slashdot tracks you using Coremetrics.


Submission + - U.S. Billionaire Heads to Space Station

TurnAround writes: A Russian rocket carrying the American billionaire who helped develop Microsoft Word roared into the night skies over Kazakhstan Saturday, sending Charles Simonyi and two cosmonauts soaring into orbit on a two-day journey to the international space station. Climbing on a column of smoke and fire into the clouds over the bleak steppes, the Soyuz TMA-10 capsule lifted off at 11:31 p.m. local time, casting an orange glow over the Baikonur cosmodrome and dozens of officials and well-wishers watching from about a mile away.

Submission + - Google forgets DST change.

Ghost-in-the-shell writes: "Looks like Google forgot to change the time on their calendar servers last night. I guess I'll be showing up to classes an hour later than normal for the next few weeks. The problems documented here is only in effect for the next three weeks until the traditional date of the DST change of early April. Partial (for privacy reasons) screen shots included."

Submission + - Help Desk: First Step in Successful IT Career

jcatcw writes: A help desk jobs can put you in a good position for future growth, according to Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. In a help desk role, you can gain in-depth, real-world knowledge of nearly every system a company uses or sells, including operating systems, applications, networks, the Internet, hardware and peripherals. In addition to those hard skills, you can develop the strong interpersonal skills — communication, problem-solving and leadership abilities — that are becoming more important to hiring managers.

Submission + - What's In A Twinkie?

ctwxman writes: "I grew up on Devil Dogs. Alas, there's no Devil Dog book, but now there is one about Twinkies — nature's perfect food thanks to the miracle of modern science and advanced chemistry! "Why is it you can bake a cake at home with as few as six ingredients, but Twinkies require 39? And why do many of them seem to bear so little resemblance to actual food?" Pure goodness doesn't come easy. Steve Ettlinger is the author of "Twinkie, Deconstructed," the definitive Twinkie story... even without the official help of the keepers of the Twinkie secret. It's all summarized on MSNBC. Before clicking, make sure you have a glass of milk handy."

Submission + - How do you change careers into programming?

An anonymous reader writes: I have worked in tech support for the last several years, but find myself wanting to move on to something else — programming. I've written some small programs in my limited spare time but nothing particularly impressive; just functional stuff to make my life easier. I've spent a lot of time recently working through programming books, and feel I'm ready to make the switch in my career. That said, I don't have a CS degree, and find that responses to my resume have been along the lines of "Thanks, but we aren't hiring for tech support positions." Surely someone from the slashdot crowd has been in the same position — what would you recommend?

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