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Comment Re:Slashdot has popup ads with data:text/html;base (Score 2) 204

Third time this week. I'm reading through slashdot comments on my mobile and get a popup ad with a "data:text/html;base64" url. Here's a couple screen grabs:


first photo shows the URL. second photo shows that chrome thinks the page is still on slashdot's website. The ad pops up and fills the screen on it's own, without me clicking on anything (so it's on some sort of setTimeout or something). It won't let me use the back button either. This crap is very invasive. Slashdot should not be showing these sort of ads

Not only this, but fucking auto fucking refresh is still fucking annoying us, and if you click Older >> at the bottom of the page, it takes you to the older articles but very frequently puts you at the bottom of the page (wtf?), and the big ads at the top take so long to load that the comments I'm reading are often jumping around as the ad finally loads and adjusts the page height, etc. Ugh.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

Comment Re:The end justifies the means (Score 0) 304

It's probably not that meaningful, anyway. Somewhere around 20-40% of the info in these documents will turn out to be wrong or misleading in some critical way. Mostly, it'll just be a case of "name files", with info about different people with the same (or similar) names entered in the wrong place. People will learn pretty quickly to deny anything they don't like. Of course, others will believe whatever they want about you, especially if it was in some "secret" document. But they too will learn that the info about them is also full of errors. More importantly, your friends and relatives will learn the same thing.

I've yet to see any official document about me (including medical records) that didn't have some bizarre thing with unknown origin. The people who keep the records just respond with a grin and a comment starting with "Yeah ....".

Actually, my favorite example, which my wife loves telling other people, is one of those "not even wrong" things that a nurse wrote down after a routine exam, saying that I was 5'13" tall and weighted 135 pounds. I am in fact about six feet one inch, but 135 pounds would make me one of the scrawniest six-footers on the planet. She'd used one of those old-fashioned scales with sliding weights, and had forgotten that she'd slid over a third 50-pound weight. But I've since then seen several personal histories that include that 135-pound weight back then. Once such things get into the database, they're almost impossible to correct. This is especially true of medical records. This can be really annoying to those that've had a "false positive" diagnosis somewhere along the line. But such things are pretty good at teaching you how much you can trust the "official" data about other people.

(I sometimes wonder if official records in other "advanced" countries are as screwed up as they are here in the US. I'd guess that they probably are.)


people do have their names :)

Not really; according to the US Census Bureau, there are about 1800 Americans with my (first+last) name. And probably a whole bunch of them have the same middle name, which is also one of the top 10 men's names in the US. My parents didn't have much imagination when it came to baby names.

OTOH, my wife continues to use her birth name for most purposes (which is fine by me). She likes the fact that, as far as she can determine, she's the only living human with that name. (And it's not even some unpronounceable "foreign" sounding name. She also likes to point out to people that her name is a syntactically correct English sentence. She has even found archived newspaper images that have her name at the top of a story. ;-)

But anyway, most of us don't "have" our names in any meaningful sense. We're just one of many who are using the name for a few decades, until we drop out of the crowd that are using it.

In college, I had a friend who was a member of the Bill Smith Club, whose only membership criterion is that you be named (or married to someone named) Bill Smith (or William Smythe or Wilhelm Schmidt or anything else that maps onto the name).

Comment Re: interstellar mission (Score 1) 347

I doubt you millennials will get us to Mars let alone out of the solar system. Science is hard and you are soft.

Actually, the same could be said about every generation/cohort. Most of the population are usually the anti-thinking sort who contribute nothing much to our knowledge. The advances have always come from a tiny minority who are typically not much respected by their cohorts. There's a tiny minority of "millennials" who are involved in making the advances that most of us won't live to appreciate. They're not hard to find if you hang out with the right crowds, but most people (including the /. crowd) would never bother with that.

Comment Re:Current Version is GIMP 2.8.18 (Score 3, Informative) 117

For me, the major shortcoming is adjustment layers. In Photoshop, you can apply a non-destructive layer/filter over your image to modify parameters such as brightness, contrast, colour levels, etc. You can then directly edit your image "below" this filter, e.g. cropping it. You can then modify the adjustment layer later.

In GIMP, once you modify brightness or contrast, that's it. You can't come back and remove/change these setting later. This has been a requested feature for at least 14 years.

I wanted to quote this, not just for agreement, but to point out that ... yes.. this is a seriously large issue for professional work. I'm not sure that the 'why' of its importance is widely understood around here either so I just wanted to add some detail to it.

I think that the common mindset might be that once you've made a change, you're done, there's very little journey for you after that. That's true in many cases, such as simple photo editing etc. The value in having what amounts to variables in your stack of layers may not seem high enough to warrant Adobe's price.

When you consider that professional work being done means there's an economic advantage to getting done faster, then the idea of being able to create non-destructive templates in Photoshop means $$$ becomes a little clearer. Some time I invest in creating image 1 could mean I spend half the time creating image 2. It also means that if an image is kicked back to me for revision I can really quickly make that adjustment as opposed to re-tracing a number of steps. Again, time is money.

If I were asked to come up with a programming metaphor I'd give you this really shitty one: Imagine people urging you to switch to a clone of Python that doesn't let you create your own modules. Many of them don't need or want to create their own modules, but for plenty of people who have dug deep into it they feel they'd need them from day one, suffering greatly from the lack of that feature.

I've mentioned before that GIMP may be free, but that it wouldn't actually save me money over Photoshop, this is precisely why.

Comment Re:What's the big problem? (Score 4, Interesting) 675

What is needed is decent 2 factor authentication.

Isn't that what chip and PIN was supposed to bring us? Something you have (the card) and something you know (the PIN)?

Why the hell did the U.S. adopt chip and signature? I was excited for my new chip and PIN credit card until I realized it was chip and signature.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 126

Do average users want to, and are they capable of, properly administering an OS like Windows?

Yes. Turn it on. Done. Administered.

Microsoft has dumbed it down to that point for us. Updates? It'll work itself out. Viruses? Just hit the refresh button if it goes tits up and windows defender can't fix it. Backups? You mean your files weren't on Onedrive?

Seriously if you're "administering" a windows machine without being paid a salary to do so then you're doing it very wrong.

We'll have to agree with disagree. My non-technical Windows-using and macOS-using friends get themselves into trouble all the time because taking care of their Windows and macOS systems is far too hard for non-technical users.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 126

why does it have to be windows?

I didn't say it had to be Windows. That's why I said an OS like Windows. For what it's worth, I don't think your average user is even remotely capable of safely and effectively administering Windows, OS X, or desktop Linux.

what is wrong with Linux or chrome if you don't like windows?

I didn't say anything was wrong with ChromeOS. In fact, I think Chromebooks are probably the ideal solution for 95% of average users.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 126

I mean seriously at this point a laptop with similar levels of performance as your phone is a fraction of the price. If you are going to carry around a laptop shell you may as well make it a real laptop that won't have the shit ton of limitations that this is going to have.

Do average users want to, and are they capable of, properly administering an OS like Windows?

Comment Re:What do you gain from this? (Score 1) 126

The only problem with that is my laptop that is around 7 years old is still massively more powerful than the best modern smartphone, hell even my 10 year old one would be preferrable. why would I want such restrictive performance of a phone without the form factor benefits?

How much power does the average user need for their web browsing, email, music, and videos? Is your typical smartphone fast enough for that use case?

Comment Re:In his Mother's basement (Score 1) 162

I doubt that his mom gave him over a million dollars to build a Star Trek themed theater in the basement of her house, but if that actually happened I'd look up to him with envy instead of scoffing. Even that scenario is far more likely to get moist panties thrown at him than anonymously making fun of him on Slashdot.

Comment Re:DOS's built-in BASIC system? (Score 1) 211

You could sort of do it in EGA mode if you used the PCopy command. My memory is fuzzy on the exact implementation of it but you could draw pictures into one of 8 'pages' of memory and use pcopy to dump that data into an invisible page, then make that page visible... double-buffering I think it was called.

I did a few experiments where some scrolling and even a bit of sprite animation could be done. It didn't have the performance to be mistaken for an NES, but it could have been in the ballpark of Commander Keen.

I apologize for not being able to get into grittier detail, but I did quite a bit of graphic experimentation with QBasic and was surprised about how far I got with it.

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