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Web Comic 'Pokey The Penguin' Celebrates Its 19th Anniversary (twitter.com) 67

It's one of the longest-running comics on the internet. (Slashdot is approaching its 20th anniversary, and in its first year ran two stories about Pokey.) Open source developer Steve Havelka of Portland, Oregon created the truly bizarre strip back in 1998 -- one legend says it was originally a parody of another comic drawn with Microsoft Paint -- and he's since sporadically cranked out 637 strips.

Since 2010 he's also been publishing the cartoons in printed books, and this year launched an equally surreal page on Patreon identifying himself as "Steve Havelka, THE AUTHORS of Pokey the Penguin," offering supporters a "mystery item in the mail". Pokey has lots of fans -- he earned a shout-out in the videogame Hitman: Blood Money -- and very-long-time Slashdot reader 198348726583297634 informs us that on this 19th anniversary Pokey "is celebrating on Twitter!" where he's apparently accosting other web cartoonists and touting a new birthday strip. (Not to be confused with that truly horrible Pokey-goes-to-a-party movie created in Adobe Flash.)

I'd like to hear from any Slashdot readers who remember Pokey the Penguin -- but I'm also curious to hear from Slashdot readers who have never read the strip. ComixTalk called it "one of those webcomics that really only exist because of the Internet -- it would be hard to see something like this in any other medium... there's just something about Pokey the Penguin that fits online."

Comment Re:Troll? (Score 3, Insightful) 271

Globalization is causing the lowering of wages, and it won't stop until the poorest country becomes as rich as the richest one. Economists say that it's a good thing and that it can't be stopped, and the average slashdot reader does too, at least as long as it's not his job sector that gets affected.
Privacy

Britain Has Passed the 'Most Extreme Surveillance Law Ever Passed in a Democracy' (zdnet.com) 359

Zack Whittaker, reporting for ZDNet: The UK has just passed a massive expansion in surveillance powers, which critics have called "terrifying" and "dangerous." The new law, dubbed the "snoopers' charter," was introduced by then-home secretary Theresa May in 2012, and took two attempts to get passed into law following breakdowns in the previous coalition government. Four years and a general election later -- May is now prime minister -- the bill was finalized and passed on Wednesday by both parliamentary houses. Civil liberties groups have long criticized the bill, with some arguing that the law will let the UK government "document everything we do online." It's no wonder, because it basically does. The law will force internet providers to record every internet customer's top-level web history in real-time for up to a year, which can be accessed by numerous government departments; force companies to decrypt data on demand -- though the government has never been that clear on exactly how it forces foreign firms to do that that; and even disclose any new security features in products before they launch. Not only that, the law also gives the intelligence agencies the power to hack into computers and devices of citizens (known as equipment interference), although some protected professions -- such as journalists and medical staff -- are layered with marginally better protections. In other words, it's the "most extreme surveillance law ever passed in a democracy," according to Jim Killock, director of the Open Rights Group.

Comment Re:FX Pro on apple.... (Score 4, Interesting) 259

You don't. If you watch the video (click on the "here" link at the end of the summary) he makes it clear that he's comparing time to get to an end result. Not hardware. The complete package. Hardware + software.

He's not comparing hardware and software to get an end result. He's comparing hardware and software to get two different end results (running two different programs, arbitrarily chosen). Hence the comparison does not make any sense whatsoever. Different programs take different time to run on different computers and you can't infer anything from that.

He then goes further on, providing an explanation (that the macbook pro is faster because it is more "optimized") without any proof (he didn't actually indicate what optimization is there on the mac and isn't there on the pc) for a fact that he didn't measure in the first place (that the macbook pro is faster).

This video makes as much sense as buying a 2016 macbook pro.

Comment Re:clarification (Score 1) 208

It is widely known that the USSR invaded Czechoslovakia because they wanted to keep it under their influence. My sentence was meant as a parody of the Soviet propaganda, which justified violations of the sovereignty of the countries of the Eastern block with the alleged threat of a fascist invader from the West. The Berlin wall, for instance, was called something like "anti-fascist protection barrier" from their side.

Comment Re:clarification (Score 2) 208

I didn't say that the methods were the same, I said that the intentions were. Of course living under the protection of the USA was far better than living under the protection of the USSR. But this doesn't change the fact that altruism was the last thought in the mind of political leaders when they partitioned Europe after WW2. As for the feelings of the common people, the average person from the streets of Russia will genuinely think that their troops have to be deployed abroad in order to altruistically defend other countries from fascist aggressions, in the same way as Americans might genuinely think that Europe is made up of lazy people who need to be altruistically defended by US forces which, as a result, have the right not to clean any mess they make in the process.

And let's be honest, the US never spent less on welfare because they needed the money to patrol Greenland. They have done so because welfare programs aren't high on the list of priorities of the American electorate.

Comment Re:Developers of the standard hope.... (Score 2) 135

Not only the device will have to support multiplexing, DRM, power management, protocol negotiation, DRM, compression, encryption, DRM, delivery of power to the external amplyfiers, DRM... it will also have to still support the analog audio option. So the "less power hungry" claim is bullshit.

I'll concede that the "slimmer" claim is realistic, given that two connectors take less space than one. But in a time when phones are getting larger and larger, I don't think this is going to solve anyone's problem.

The claim that devices will be "smarter", instead, can be scary. USB devices can be flaky at times because of the complexity of the protocol. On top on that, I've had some mixed experiences with USB-audio class devices in particular. And if the analog audio option of this new connector isn't mandatory, we'll end up buying earphones that sometimes work, sometimes don't, depending on an invisible capability of the device. Not to mention that application software can prevent the use of the analog outputs for DRM reasons, as it happens today for the video outputs.

Comment Re:How about.... (Score 2) 232

No population of today has much to do with the same population of the 5th century BC, anywhere, but especially so in an area, ranging from Turkey to India, where many country borders were pretty much drawn by colonial forces as recently as some decades ago. Therefore I think that using the narration of ancient history, either accurate or conveniently spun, to deny legitimation for a whole modern population, is silly. This holds true for both the Israeli and the Palestinians. There are two communities living there, today, and I suspect that most of them barely know who their grandparents are, let alone care about where their ancestors were living before Christ, and just want to live a peaceful life in the place where they were born; unfortunately I'm the least qualified person on Earth to suggest them a way to reach this goal.

Comment Re:How about.... (Score 3, Informative) 232

To be fair, the term "Palestine" was already in use back in the ancient Egypt, it wasn't invented by the Romans. Also, the Romans never ethnically cleansed the region of the whole Jewish population: they banned them from residing in Jerusalem (which happened, to put things into context, after the Jews lost multiple wars, that themselves started, and that resulted in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Greek and Roman people living in the region). In fact, many Jews already lived outside of Judaea before the Bar Kochba revolt, and many continued living inside of Judaea after.

(I'm not saying this to deny the facts that the Jews have a history of continued persecution and that the state of Israel has a right to exist and to defend itself.)

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