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Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 3, Interesting) 311

to interact with others in the Site

users and members on the Site

Emphasis mine in both cases. The use of the phrase "in the site" caught my attention right away. Is that a reference to their bots, who are literally in the site. "On the site" is what I usually hear, and they clearly know that version since they use it elsewhere.

Comment Re:Colleges are not for education (Score 3, Insightful) 274

Meanwhile, Biff and Skippy get a taxpayer-subsidized 4 year frat party.

I think it would be completely fair to have reasonable minimum academic performance requirements. You have to have shown promise in high school and must continue to get good grades in college or university. That way Biff and Skippy likely get zero or only one year of that frat party. If they can fool around and still get good grades then maybe that's ok - they do seem to be learning.

To deal fairly with people who did not do well due to circumstances beyond their control (say a parent died the week before finals) there could be some sort of review process. There could also be some sort of probation system where people who were borderline would pay some cost to show that they were serious. Improving their grades would then remove that required payment.

People tend to not value things that they don't think costs them anything.

I would make a slightly more nuanced statement. People may value less something which is given to them as compared to something they had to earn. Individual results will likely vary significantly as to how much less. Studying hard to get good enough grades is earning the reward of free tuition.

I would consider my own personal experience here. My family did not have a lot of money, so I earned my own money to pay my way through a four year B.Sc. While I had excellent grades in high school, I received only one scholarship that amounted to the cost of a couple of text books. I graduated with an A+ average and the government (Canadian) gave me a scholarship which paid my way through graduate school. They more than got their money back in taxes I've paid over the years.

At the same time, I knew people who's parents paid their tuition for them, and who failed out after one year of frat partying. I also knew people who's parents paid their tuition and who studied hard and did well.

Comment Re:Why are people going to jail for this? (Score 1) 664

Typically it has a fairly specific definition involving a person, which is what the legal system calls a human. (Emphasis mine.)

I completely agree with what you say. Just can't help but point out the fact that because this happened in the U.S., "person" would include a corporation (according to SCOTUS) but as far as I know "human" does not include corporations.

From my point of view, being human should involve being humane. To me that doesn't describe a corporation. Unfortunately there seem to be too many humans who don't seem to fit that description either.

Comment Re:Fair use case (Score 1) 125

I would think it counts as fair use. Some might say that if the whole page was readable versus just the headline that might not be fair use. (But it's likely not readable in a low resolution image, and could even be blurred while leaving the headline readable.)

At the worst, if some court rules that it's not fair use then create a new version of the story, which replaces the image with a description of what the image was and a comment that the image had to be removed due to a DMCA request by the Sunday Times. Then send them a link to that new version to the Sunday Times to thumb your nose at them.

Comment Re:This is ridiculous (Score 1) 408

The way Bell sees it is that if you are paying Netflix and getting the content you are stealing from Bell. I think they don't like emphasizing the "stealing from Bell" part and just say "stealing" because they know they would be laughed at.

At the same time, I knew someone who signed up for a special offer from Bell and then had to call Bell every few months to get silly extra charges removed from their bill. I wonder what Bell would call it when people who don't pay enough attention to their monthly bills or don't take the time to call up and argue with them end up paying false extra charges on their bill. To make that clearer, what does Bell call it when they collect unexplained extra fees from customers beyond the required payments for the services provided? That wouldn't be stealing would it? Or just business as usual?

Comment Govt Doesn't Care About User Safety (Score 4, Informative) 110

The "war on drugs" results in increased violence which increases the risk for everyone, not just the drug users. If the government was really concerned about the safety of drug users they could legalize and regulate everything and make it much safer. So far that hasn't happened.

I'm impressed that Dread Pirate Roberts paid a doctor to counsel people, I just don't think that the government will be.

Here in Canada the federal government tried to shut down a safe injection site in Vancouver. The site operated by the provincial government provided IV drug users with a safe place to shoot up. Everything need, except the drugs, was available there.. There were nurses present to offer help and advice, and to deal with any overdoses. The end result was (provably) fewer deaths among IV drug users. That made no difference to the federal government, they still wanted to shut the site down. Fortunately when they took the province to court, they lost - since there was proof of fewer deaths it was considered a health care issue, which is completely up to the province

Submission + - Samsung Smart TV is recording your private conversations (

An anonymous reader writes: Samsung’s privacy policy includes details that its Smart TV voice recognition feature may pick up on personal conversations and transmit private communications to third parties. Buried in the privacy policy related to the smart television, Samsung advises users to be aware that any snippets of conversation might be captured by the software which allows them to control their television sets with a series of commands.Questions have been raised about who these third parties could be, what the information is used for, and how the data is being transmitted – with potentially unencrypted voice clips left exposed to hackers.

Comment Re:Cool, but... (Score 4, Interesting) 93

Technically, no they didn't need to use Lego to do this. But it was probably easier to build using Lego. And much easier for them to provide the plans for how to build it that anyone else can easily follow. (Which they do.)

It would be neat if the Lego picked up the idea and put together a special set that other people could purchase to make it even easier.

Comment Re:It's not the gas... (Score 0) 239

I pointed out the ideal gas law to show just how well understood it is. Not simply saying that cooling the air will reduce the pressure, but here's how you could calculate exactly how much difference it would make. (I really can't see how you could think pointing out the ideal gas law would be disagreeing with you.)

OK, so I guess I'm wrong, the NFL has no experience with inflating footballs. There are multiple balls inflated for each of the many games each week throughout the season and this has been going on for quite a few years, but they still don't really know anything about inflated leather balls. Right.

Comment Re:It's not the gas... (Score 3, Interesting) 239

The behaviour of the gas is described nicely by the ideal gas law: PV/T is constant, where P is the pressure of the gas, V is the volume and T is the temperature. (T must use a scale relative to absolute zero.)

The best answer here is to do a bunch of experiments, not a bunch of calculations.

The NFL has plenty of experience in dealing with inflating footballs. It's pretty hard to believe that they don't understand what's going on. They should be well aware of the effects of cooling on both the ball and the air inside it. It's not like they recently started using inflated leather balls.

Submission + - Slashdot Starts Serving Ads to Users Who Have Opted-Out of Ads 3

jtara writes: The title pretty-much says it. There is no news story (yet!) and so no URL to link to. I suppose there will be in a few days, once long-time loyal Slashdot users who have opted-out of ads realize how they've been pwned.

To be clear, I am not talking about some optional browser header or cookie requesting generic ad opt-out. I am talking about a specific Slashdot profile setting that allows registered, long-term users to opt-out of ads. (Yes, because we are That Special.)

It's been happening now for a few days. Upper right-hand corner has this:

Ads Disabled
Thanks again for helping make Slashdot great!

But that cake is a lie. Ads disabled? With a generous helping of AdSense. How is that "disabled"?

To Dice: Thanks for making Slashdot crappy.

P.S. I am going to stop modding Dice trolls down. Now they start getting modded up. I'd urge others to do the same. As well, I'd urge others to submit a complaint to Google, as I have. Dice, you went one step too far.

P.P.S. What's with the crazy auto-blockquote and opening quotation-mark that I didn't write? There seems to be an assumption that one will always open a story with a quote from some article. There is no article (yet!), so it's gonna look a little weird. I TRIED to format it nicely...

Submission + - Nordic countries not the utopia they seem. (

An anonymous reader writes: Today the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's daily morning program The Current interviewed English author Michael Booth who explored each Nordic state with the aim of investigating the myth of the northern utopias. Then he wrote a book about it: The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia.

Nearly a decade ago, the writer moved to his wife's native Denmark. It was ranked as the happiest country in the world at the time, but Booth was somewhat baffled. He found the reality of life in a Nordic country quite different from the way the rest of the world believes it to be — a bastion of equality, social harmony, and rosy cheeks.

A podcast of the interview is available from The Current's podcast page.

Computers are unreliable, but humans are even more unreliable. Any system which depends on human reliability is unreliable. -- Gilb