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51  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Mystery of Death Valley's Sliding Rocks Solved on: August 28, 2014, 11:48:37 PM
Cool.... smiley ...uh, no huh

Bummer!  Sad

I kinda liked it more when we didn't really know how it worked.  Cool

Some harmless mystery is always nice to have around. Grin
of all people!   cheesy

Wot??? You thought I actually wanted to have all the answers all the time? huh Grin

52  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Interesting "stuff" on: August 27, 2014, 08:54:36 PM
I took a year of commercial graphic arts at 'that' school. Using Lorem Ipsum felt too much like cheating, so I usually wrote my own body copy. I got a few raised eyebrows and one tilted head, so I figure I won.  Cool
53  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Switzerland-based ProtonMail, yet another secure email service on: August 24, 2014, 05:57:57 PM
Just got my email and set up account today.  Let's see if my door gets kicked down...  tongue
54  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Frustrated Mom Creates ‘Ignore No More’ App To Get Teen Kids To Return Calls on: August 19, 2014, 04:17:56 AM
Although I don't have biological progeny of my own, I've done a fair amount of genuine child rearing in my time. So I'm not insensitive or unaware of the concerns many parents have. (Unless somebody wants put forth that old bromide that says: "if they're not your own it's not the same. Because if that's the case, we might as well just end the discussion now. Grin)

Far be it from me to belittle anyone's experience with raising children, seriously.  But I do have to say that while caring for someone else's children has it's own great and valid burden of consequences, when you are ultimately responsible from cradle to graduation for the health, welfare, and social viability of a brand-new human being that fruited from your very own loins, the stakes are higher and the ties run deeper than any other.  If you want to end the discussion, fair enough.  That's just my experience.

I had written some other blatherings, but then I realized something.  First of all:

You don't point electronic surveillance/control technology at a loved one. At least not in my school of ethics.

With this, I whole-heartedly concurIf I thought flat-out surveillance was the only viable methodology for keeping my child in line, then I have failed as a parent.  No questions.  Then I realized the reason I am not opposed to this app is that (in my opinion) it fundamentally does not cross the line into surveillance.  What is it then?  You alluded to it:

In this case, I would have liked it more if she came up with something that sent an autoresponse back to let her know the phone had received the message - and then let her little darling know that if HE didn't also respond within a reasonable amount of time, he was grounded.
(emphasis mine)

Back when I was a kid, "grounded" meant that I did something stupid, and as a consequence, I was not allowed to do certain things for a period of time.  That worked pretty well, but only because I was at home in the presence of my parents who could immediately exercise the appropriate restraints on my liberty.  In the case of the situations that gave rise to the reasoning behind this app, the child in question is outside of the parent's sphere of immediate influence.  Sending a text saying "I know you got this message, respond or you're grounded" is somewhat toothless.  That tells him/her "I can do what I want until I decide to go home and face the gauntlet".  Ah, but temporarily disable their phone, especially kids of this generation, and you get their attention.  This app is, or should not be more than, akin to a grounding tool.  Parents could easily do (and have done) worse.

So when somebody comes to me and says "Well I remember how out of control I was at that age. We all were." I have to call BS on that and say: "Speak for yourself." Because most of us weren't. And since I deal with enough kids to appreciate how smart and aware of what's going on most of them are, it's not just simple belief on my part. They're just as sick and tired of the jerks they have to deal with as the rest of us are.

Yes, I've met almost as many very smart, polite, aware kids that I would be proud to call my own, and please forgive me for implying that all kids are going to be stupid just because I was.  To be honest, that isn't exactly what I meant (and for the record, I had pretty good parents and a mostly happy, secure childhood; I really had no excuse...).  
Perhaps I should have phrased it that all kids have the potential to do dumb/dangerous/ill-conceived things simply by virtue that they are immature humans; works in progress whose decision-making faculties aren't fully 'in gear' until life experience has galvanized into genuine wisdom.  I've met enough full-grown adults still struggling with maturity to be anything but reassured that children left to their own devices will turn out peachy.  Until you can give me a 100% guarantee on some methodology of this nebulous concept we call "parenting" that will produce ideal citizens, then erring on the side of caution is rather the smart thing to do.

So when I hear people saying: "don't make me feel any less if I used it because I wanted to know if my kid was still alive or not" I suspect they too feel there is something intrinsically wrong with using an app like this one.

Nope.  I stand by my original thought on this one.  IMO, this app does not cross the line into surveillance.  I haven't seen in my son any behavior that would warrant me actually using it, but I can definitely see the potential for situations where I needed to say to him "No, really, you need to call me back now".  Keyloggers, GPS trackers, text message mirrors (#1 request by parents for keeping tabs on out-of-control kids when I worked at Sprint) are all technologies I would never feel comfortable with, because you are correct; effective parenting makes these things completely unnecessary and obsolete.  Use of these sorts of things is indeed a 'red flag' that parenting has failed.  That said, If I caught wind that my son was up to something illegal or life-threatening and he didn't own up to it, I would be sorely tempted to use whatever technology I felt appropriate to find out what was really going on.  Failed parent as I might be at that moment, the least I could do is attempt to stop the tragedy from playing out further.  Maybe the better option at that point would be to involve the appropriate authorities?  That has it's own caveats that I'd rather not get into...


40hz: I agree with enough of what you've said that I think the disagreement hinges upon our opinions of exactly how draconian this app is, or could be.  In my opinion, not so much.  Perhaps we can agree to disagree?
55  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Frustrated Mom Creates ‘Ignore No More’ App To Get Teen Kids To Return Calls on: August 17, 2014, 04:48:20 PM
This is being advanced in the name of "the children." Grin

^that on it's own is not a reason to knock it either.

I suspect you dont have children from your response above (only those of us without kids could be so idealistic I think), but I still think you made good points thumbs up

40Hz, you made some very good points, but I do agree with Tomos.  My kid has had his ups and downs, but he's really good about calling or texting back, so I'd never have any reason to use this app, and we've tried to raise him to be ready for real independence when the time comes.  

Whether that makes me a good parent or not, I consider myself fortunate.

So many kids are not as responsible, regardless of the quality of their parents, and I see it every damn time I go someplace where 12-16 year-olds congregate (thankfully, that's not often  undecided ).  "Won't somebody think of the children" has so often been used as a nice little mockery to throw at us folks who ARE thinking of our children that I have just stop and draw a line, instead of bowing in shame for 'keeping little junior from his potential'.

Even patient, responsible parents who do their best to raise citizens of integrity is deadly aware that oftentimes our children do not think.  Period. As immature human beings, they very easily get into herd mentality and suddenly they're doing things that prove either unhealthy or life-threatening.  How do I know that?  Because I did it as a kid, and I have to admit, some of those things were an awful lot of fun; but I can honestly say that in most cases I did not think through the consequences before doing it.  My mother would have had an instant heart attack if she knew where I was and what I was up to, because she loved me dearly and wanted to continue seeing me in one piece for as long as possible.  
That's NOT an unreasonable desire on the part of any parent.  

I'm sure any thinking person can come up with counter-arguments and "what if" scenarios until the cows come home, but at the bottom line, just because someone uses this app, doesn't mean they are not parenting.  In fact, if used as intended in the situations called for (not just because you want to lock out Missy until she picks up some milk on the way home from the waterpark), it can be as useful a parenting tool as any.  Yes, some will find ways to abuse it, yes, kids will find a way around it, welcome to human nature.  But for God's sake, don't make me feel any less if I used it because I wanted to know if my kid was still alive or not.
 two cents
56  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: August 15, 2014, 07:59:56 PM
A bit too trip-hop/space-pop (damn these mongrel genres...) for me, but she obviously knows what she's doing.
Feel the same about it myself.
That said, I DO like Clara's voice, it's got a certain soul that cuts through the background.  I'd like to see her with a few other members, at least keyboard and maybe something else eclectic, like a turntablist to keep those drum loops live.  
I don't envy those who have chosen Theremin as their vocation, it's really easy to make god-awful noise, and takes more than it's fair share of skill to make music.

Sara Quin delivers an absolutely uninspired vocal on this one too:
Weeeelllll, I can't quite say it's uninspired, but definitely in that deadpan style that seems to be all the rage lately...
*cough* Owl City *cough*   undecided
57  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: August 14, 2014, 07:12:26 PM
Clara Rockmore was the virtuoso of the theremin back in the day:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzTPGlNa5U" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSzTPGlNa5U</a>

She would do stuff like play a note quiet enough for only her to hear on the stage, just to get the pitch right, before swelling it to stage volume.  Her phrasing and smoothness of fade-ins and fade-outs are just amazing.  If you've ever attempted to play a theremin, you'll know that !@#$ is hard...

Now a new Clara has come to claim the antenna:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0iDDnhU5go" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0iDDnhU5go</a>

A bit too trip-hop/space-pop (damn these mongrel genres...) for me, but she obviously knows what she's doing.

58  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Panamax: Docker Management for Humans on: August 12, 2014, 09:19:01 PM
I tried playing with Docker a few times and every time ended up scratching my head wondering what I was doing.  It was like trying to play checkers with an elephant who thinks I'm trying to give him a recipe for blueberry muffins.  I know Docker is like, über-useful and flexible and it's what all the cool kids are playing with these days, and I kinda get that it's like virtual machines but not really, but I just can't for the life of me make the connection between what Docker can do and what I might want to do with it.

Maybe that means I should just leave it alone...  embarassed

Or maybe Panamax can help?  Watching the video now...
59  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The REALITY of Virtual Flight and Other Simulators (Not Just For Simmers) on: August 11, 2014, 10:58:06 PM
 Grin Grin Grin

I've got it... rig it so the simulator knows you're trying something stupid, and when you die it uninstalls itself from your computer, de-registers your account and order from their server, and charges you a 10% "restocking fee".

Seriously though, when my son went through driving school, they touted "state of the art simulations" as part of the course.  I was skeptical.  Apparently, that was for some class other than basic driving lessons.  He got live on-the-street driving instruction the entire time, and then passed his final test with flying colors.  Thmbsup
Afterwards, he uninstalled TrackMania from his computer, because now that he was driving 'for real', he felt that the unrealistic simulations in that game might "throw him off" while he built up experience as a beginning driver.

60  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The REALITY of Virtual Flight and Other Simulators (Not Just For Simmers) on: August 11, 2014, 06:50:20 PM
I've often wondered the value of such simulators (flight, driving, space exploration) in the context of learning.  For better or worse, the simulation, no matter how well done, is pretty much a glorified video game.  There are no real consequences for doing something stupid and dying in the 'virtual' world.  "Well," I am told, "that makes it all the better because you can practice until you get it 'right' without dying the first time, which would be even more tragic."  True, but still... 
61  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / R.I.P. Robin Williams on: August 11, 2014, 06:44:26 PM
You can find the news all over the 'net.  I didn't post a link 'cause there's too many to choose from. 
Another one gone...  Sad
62  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: EFF's "Stupid Patent of the Month" raises awareness, shames patent trolls on: August 10, 2014, 04:44:14 PM
To clarify, this patent went through one day before the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank decision, which boiled down to "you can't patent something just by saying 'do it with a computer'".
In a concise 17-page opinion, the Supreme Court recognized that Alice claimed the abstract concept of “intermediated settlement,” something the Supreme Court recognized was “a fundamental economic practice long prevalent in our system of commerce.” Having done this, the Supreme Court reaffirmed that merely adding “a generic computer to perform generic computer functions” does not make an otherwise abstract idea patentable. This statement (and the opinion itself) makes clear that an abstract idea along with a computer doing what a computer normally does is not something our patent system was designed to protect.

So now we see it's doubly stupid because the patent still stands even though it's passing premise has been invalidated.
63  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / EFF's "Stupid Patent of the Month" raises awareness, shames patent trolls on: August 10, 2014, 04:28:24 PM
We wish we could catalog them all, but with tens of thousands of low-quality software patents issuing every year, we don’t have the time or resources to undertake that task.

But in an effort to highlight the problem of stupid patents, we’re introducing a new blog series, Stupid Patent of the Month, featuring spectacularly dumb patents that have been recently issued or asserted.

Their first example:
U.S. Patent No. 8,762,173, titled “Method and Apparatus for Indirect Medical Consultation.”
    a.    take a telephone call from patient
    b.    record patient info in a patient file
    c.    send patient information to a doctor, ask the doctor if she wants to talk to the patient
    d.    call the patient back and transfer the call to the doctor
    e.    record the call
    f.     add the recorded call to the patient file and send to doctor
    g.    do steps a. – f. with a computer.
What we found was that the original claim 1 (which was similar but not identical to the claim that eventually was patented) had not claimed a computer.
The examiner correctly issued a rejection, saying the claim was abstract and thus wasn’t something that could be patented. In response, the applicant added element (g) (“providing a computer, the computer performing steps “a” through “f””). And the rejection went away.

Somehow, something that wasn’t patentable became patentable just by saying “do it with a computer."

from aGupieWare Blog
64  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / No time for Man pages? Cheat! on: August 10, 2014, 03:51:14 PM
Cheat allows you to create and view interactive cheatsheets on the command-line. It was designed to help remind *nix system administrators of options for commands that they use frequently, but not frequently enough to remember.

How it works:

The next time you're forced to disarm a nuclear weapon without consulting Google, you may run:
cheat tar
You will be presented with a cheatsheet resembling:
# To extract an uncompressed archive:
tar -xvf /path/to/foo.tar

# To extract a .gz archive:
tar -xzvf /path/to/foo.tgz

# To create a .gz archive:
tar -czvf /path/to/foo.tgz /path/to/foo/

# To extract a .bz2 archive:
tar -xjvf /path/to/foo.tgz

# To create a .bz2 archive:
tar -cjvf /path/to/foo.tgz /path/to/foo/
To see what cheatsheets are availble, run cheat -l.

Note that, while cheat was designed primarily for *nix system administrators, it is agnostic as to what content it stores. If you would like to use cheat to store notes on your favorite cookie recipes, feel free.

He also lists some other similar solutions:

from NixCraft
65  DonationCoder.com Software / Post New Requests Here / Re: IDEA: Application memory limiter on: August 10, 2014, 03:29:07 PM
IIRC there used to be something called a "job object" where you could do something similar.

There still is:
A job object allows groups of processes to be managed as a unit. Job objects are namable, securable, sharable objects that control attributes of the processes associated with them. Operations performed on a job object affect all processes associated with the job object. Examples include enforcing limits such as working set size and process priority or terminating all processes associated with a job.

No idea where to go from there, but there's example code from the links at that page.
66  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Best Independent web page about security (fight against viruses, pc security...) on: August 10, 2014, 02:33:27 PM


Talisker Radar:

Virus Bulletin:
67  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Wikimedia refuses to remove animal selfie because monkey ‘owns’ the photo on: August 10, 2014, 01:18:33 PM
It's almost like that same short-sighted venture capital goal of an early "cash-out" has come to the art and creative world. That mindset has hurt business. Because there's no longer a long-term goal to actually build sustainable business. Just to get them to where they can be sold. Then, take the money and move on.
AHA!  So that's why there have been so many web services that only existed to irritate their competition into buying them out, while short-selling their customers/users in the interim. 
Angry Angry Angry
68  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: silly humor - post 'em here! [warning some NSFW and adult content] on: August 10, 2014, 11:11:47 AM
IIRC, the last time I had to install NT4.0, it came with Internet Explorer 4.  Maybe Windows 3.1?  I have that in a virtual machine, lemme check...
* Edvard checks

Nope, but looky here: http://www.oldversion.com...indows/internet-explorer/
Apparently, IE 1.0 came out in '95.  huh
69  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Recommend some music videos to me! on: August 09, 2014, 05:18:50 PM
The redneck side of me has a few things to show you.  Grin

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li58voy6xXM" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Li58voy6xXM</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c7bISLhVl8" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3c7bISLhVl8</a>

And I don't have a box to put this in, but here it is...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9s57UBMWdk" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9s57UBMWdk</a>

70  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Celluloid vs digital: what are the REAL differences? on: August 09, 2014, 04:52:52 PM
 Grin Grin Grin

Actually I haven't had much to do with the "dark side" for a few years now, but then something catches your eye on youtube and...  ohmy
71  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Enough with the text editors... let's talk Terminal Emulators! on: August 09, 2014, 02:21:48 PM
Easy. ConEmu with a PyCmd interpreter. Beat that.

I'm liking that split command/file window.
Very nice!  Thmbsup
72  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Celluloid vs digital: what are the REAL differences? on: August 09, 2014, 12:15:40 AM
e.g. Satanic death metal appeals to a relatively small audience, while techno-pop has a much broader appeal and larger audience. But the techno-pop audience has no real influence on Satanic death metal artists, and vice versa.

Ummm... you haven't been listening to any Satanic Death Metal lately, have you?  "Bass drops" and "Dubstep Breakdowns" are getting to be the norm in those circles.  I'm not kidding.   Sad
73  Main Area and Open Discussion / Non-Windows Software / Re: Enough with the text editors... let's talk Terminal Emulators! on: August 08, 2014, 08:17:06 PM
They're all pretty much the same under the hood.
Agreed.  Though I never could get used to Guake...  embarassed

Finalterm looks to me like the devs are making a concerted effort to get the terminal interface a little further out of its past, which I think is laudable.  We've done it with text editors, why not?
74  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Russian hackers steal 1.2B passwords on: August 08, 2014, 06:05:49 PM
Aaaand from the One-Raised-Eyebrow dept.:

So, Yeah, Those Russian Hackers? There Are Reasons To Be Skeptical

Firm That Exposed Breach Of 'Billion Passwords' Quickly Offers $120 Service To Find Out If You're Affected

But as Hill noted, “this is a pretty direct link between a panic and a pay-out for a security firm. Yes, I expect security firms to make money for making the Internet more secure, but I am skeptical of a firm with a financial incentive in creating a panic to be the main source for a story that causes a panic.”

75  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: LinuxCon 2014 on: August 08, 2014, 05:51:58 PM
I WISH I were going, does that count?  huh
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