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Comment: Back to the future (Score 1) 142

by CarsonChittom (#47280621) Attached to: Mozilla Working On a New Website Comment System

All I want out of a commenting system is what Usenet has had for forever: a killfile. If I know that "John Doe <>" is generally a troll, I want to just not see posts by him.

As far as I'm aware, there are no web forums or commenting systems which incorporate this functionality. I haven't done an in-depth study, though, so I'd welcome correction.

Comment: low impact (Score 1) 50

by CarsonChittom (#46885555) Attached to: Researchers Find Easy To Exploit Bugs In Traffic Control Systems

I'm just not convinced that an attack on traffic lights, even if successful, would have that much impact. Would there be more accidents, and potentially injuries? Absolutely. But on the scale of the country? Most folks pay attention to more than just what the light says—if another car is speeding crossways, they're going to stop, even if they themselves have a green light.

I'm willing to be convinced, but I just don't see it.

Comment: Re:We don't need a response! (Score 2) 112

by CarsonChittom (#46864805) Attached to: Proposed Indicator of Life On Alien Worlds May Be Bogus

We just give them a high intensity focused radio broadcast of "Big Bang Theory" or "The Office" and wait for them to become hooked.

Like Futurama aliens getting hooked on "Single Female Lawyer".

Great plan, except that it ends with us getting stuck with Richard Nixon's head in a robot body as president.

Comment: Re:Why? (Score 1) 157

The other category - typified by the Kevin J Anderson stuff - is what could, most kindly, be described at "bad fanfiction". This is the stuff that's badly written, tone-deaf and schlocky. This stuff is filled with stilted dialogue, paper thin characterisation and plot holes you could fly a Star Destroyer through. Admittedly, everything I've just said could be applied equally to Lucas's prequel movies - but you really do hope they're aiming higher than that with the new stuff.

You're right, but the biggest problem I had reading the Anderson stuff and its ilk was how blatant its marketing was. It wasn't enough to have Jedi and Sith and the whole Star Wars universe. Every time a character who also appeared in the movies has a thought it's "Oh, this is just like [thing that happened in the movies]." I finally couldn't read anymore it irritated me so much.

Comment: Not legally binding (Score 3, Informative) 33

It's worth noting that this is an opinion by the Mississippi Ethics Commission, and as such, while suggestive, is "advisory" and not legally binding.

The main point of soliciting an opinion from the Ethics Commission is that a "public official" who acts upon such an advisory opinion is not subject to civil or criminal liability as long as the official "follows the direction of such opinion and acts in accordance therewith unless a court of competent jurisdiction, after a full hearing, shall judicially declare that such opinion is manifestly wrong and without any substantial support." (Mississippi Code of 1972, Annotated, section 25-4-17(i)(i))

Comment: Re:No throttling - impossible dream (Score 1) 235

by CarsonChittom (#46290817) Attached to: FCC Planning Rule Changes To Restore US Net Neutrality

WaffleMonster, I believe you hit the nail on the head - the key is differentiate between bandwidth management and discrimination or preferential treatment. The problem will be how to clearly draw the line between them.

This doesn't seem like much of a problem to me. If your pipes are at a capacity that you need to prioritize certain traffic, you do it based on the service—video, VoIP, P2P, et cetera—regardless of source, and that's bandwidth management. If your pipes are at any capacity and you throttle a specific source of traffic, that's discrimination. Do you see any problems with that as a bright line?

Comment: Re:I guess I'm not indestructible after all (Score 1) 415

by CarsonChittom (#45135287) Attached to: I typically visit a doctor (for medical reasons) ...

Pithy and funny.

But, as I said to those making the joke when it went around last year, apparently untrue. It seems from (admittedly, purely casual) searching that cancer outcomes are actually somewhat better in the US than in Europe, at least for some kinds of cancer. The National Center for Policy Analysis, a "non-partisan think tank," has a page from 2007 on this with cites to appropriate studies; and a 2011 British Department of Health policy document entitled "Improving Outcomes: A Strategy for Cancer" admits (p. 7) that England's cancer outcomes are below the European average.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce