Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:WTF UK? (Score 4, Insightful) 279

by mi (#48669959) Attached to: UK Man Arrested Over "Offensive" Tweet

GP never said anything about the US being a paragon of free speech protections.

Well, somebody should have said it — and I applaud you for saying it fairly well. Thank you.

The US is a paragon of free speech — not because there is no room for improvement, but because all (certainly most) other societies are worse in this regard. And though various Illiberals do come up from time to time with seductively-sounding proposals to ban "hate" speech, and even claim, the Constitution is outdated and "people can’t really protest like that anymore", the prevailing opinion remains, that any speech should be allowed and countered only with one's own speech.

Back to the question about UK, that country is certainly sliding farther away from liberty — along with the rest of the Western world. When a fatwa was issued calling for death of Salman Rushdie, for example, over his insulting Islam in an otherwise unremarkable book, the man received police protection and other support from his government. Nobody — except, maybe, that valiant Illiberal Jimmie Carter — blamed the victim for "deserving" the danger.

Years later, reaction to Mohammed-mocking cartoons is rather more mixed. And while it is still legal to burn American flag, if you decide to burn Koran, everybody from local to federal authorities will be on your case pressuring you to abandon your exercise of free speech.

Comment: What else is new? (Score 1) 105

by pushing-robot (#48667661) Attached to: How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

Because we're on an irreversible trajectory toward integrating technology with our cars and houses, bodies and brains. If we don't control the software, then at some point, we won't control parts of our homes and our selves.

Last time I checked, humans today can't easily tinker with their own bodies and brains, they have plenty of known bugs and vulnerabilities, and many methods of altering their function are heavily regulated if not illegal.

While I support the author's idealism, what do you think will happen in this cyborg future when software can be physically addictive or kill you or change your personality? People have always been willing to give up a certain amount of freedom for a certain amount of security, and they will continue to do so.

Comment: Re:As Russian (Score 2) 255

by Evtim (#48665875) Attached to: Serious Economic Crisis Looms In Russia, China May Help

It is a general trend of the Slavic peoples. There is only one way to "deal" with us --> total extermination. Either you kill us all, or you the invader, will become like us or we will just sit and take it until the invader is no more. I mean my country survived 482 years of ottoman occupation combined with systematic extermination of our culture, history and our gene pool [That's a horrific but fascinating story --> every few years they took one child from every family; refusal was punished by death; to be indoctrinated and raised as servants of the Empire. However, because they selected the brightest and best this special corp of mostly officers became so powerful that they started changing sultans and play the real politic. Turks would bribe officials so that their children would be accepted in the corp as christian kids --> it gave very good career prospects. At the end it was that corp that was the strongest opponent of the reformation of Turkey and Ataturk had to extinguish them. Anyway, it is estimated that 3-4 million children were collected from my country alone; this procedure was going on for hundreds of years].

Now, if you want to harm the Slavs the best thing to do [this is one of the biggest revelations of global politics] is.........leave us alone!! The greatest enemy of the Slavs is us. Leave Russia alone and they will keep the endless circle of extremely poor governing they have enjoyed always. But threaten us or try to conquer and subjugate us and we will stubbornly dig our heels and you will loose. As one of the fabulous modern day Russian writers [Victor Pelevin] said in one of his books "Of course there is an anti-Russian conspiracy. The problem is that all the adult population of Russia is participating in it"

Comment: New meaning of "hate" (Score 1) 579

by mi (#48664595) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

"hates on Obama" isn't the same as someone who "hates Obama"

Neah, the slang "hate on" (according to your own link) still has the same meaning: "To ridicule, insult, or act hatefully [emphasis mine] toward," — as the regular "hate". That otherwise well-written and spoken people would denigrate their speech to slang is just what I was referring to. I'm glad, it passed...

"He hit the girl" and "He hit on the girl"

Well, here the word "hit" has a completely different and unrelated meaning. A "hit" of something (like cocaine) is yet another unrelated meaning. That's not like "hate (on)" at all...

Comment: Case sensitivity is a good idea (Score 1) 148

by dwheeler (#48660373) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

Case sensitivity is a good idea. The problem is that trying to do "case insensitive" matching depends on the locale. If you send your files to someone else, whether or not they are the "same" depends on your locale if you're serious. For Turkish users, 'i' and dotted 'I' are the same if you're considering them as case-sensitive; for many other languages and users, the dots create DIFFERENT characters. And if you're trying to make this "easy" it doesn't go far enough; Latin "a" usually looks the same as Cyrillic "". So please don't say "users can't tell the difference" - they ALREADY can't tell the difference visually, and naive solutions do not begin to address it. At least you can visually see the difference betweeen "Picture" and "picture", and in any case, users typically just click on the item and move on.

I think it would be a GOOD idea to require that Unix-like filenames be legal UTF-8 sequences (since you then know how to display them), and then reject filenames that are not UTF-8. But that's much less intrusive than filename mangling.

That said, it's too late to fix Windows, so if you're going to run on Windows you have to deal with the problem as it is.

Comment: Re:At a guess . . . (Score 1) 169

by pushing-robot (#48658139) Attached to: Study: Light-Emitting Screens Before Bedtime Disrupt Sleep

Good luck finding devices that get dim enough, though; manufacturers have focused on making screens brighter for daytime use at the expense of nighttime usability.

About the only devices I have that dim enough to tolerably use in a dark room are my Retina MBP and iPad, and even then I must use f.lux or light-on-dark color schemes to make it comfortable. I've tried screen filtering apps for Android, but they never seem to dim the soft keys and can cause unexpected battery drain.

Oh, and don't get me started on backlit keyboards.

Comment: Re:Stone Age diet ? he wants to live all 20 years? (Score 1) 430

by Evtim (#48658077) Attached to: How Venture Capitalist Peter Thiel Plans To Live 120 Years

Don't be fooled by the cartoonish, strong worded presentation -- this is 100% true. I went through it myself and the way to solve it is exactly that diet plus probiotics [BTW, one I am Bulgarian and very well know the difference between yogurt in the supermarket and the real deal and two, I live in Amsterdam whose mayor said refined sugar is a class A drug in his opinion]

also this

Just to mention that in my case I was advised to go to the diet by "real doctor" [not a "loony"] after being diagnosed with systemic stomach candidosis. Just one of the side-effects is that I got the physique I had when I was 17....and they say obesity is an issue number 1, well there is your solution...

Comment: Re:Why not push toward collapse? (Score 1) 433

by mi (#48627663) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

I'm afraid you can't blame or give credit to Obama for that

BS. Of course, I can blame Obama — he could have and should have gotten Iraqi government to agree for us to stay there longer — based on the new developments.

Then, of course, if you are killing suspected terrorists instead of capturing and interrogating them (so that, heaven forbid, no new prisoners appear in Guantanamo), you might not even be aware of those new developments until you see some decapitations on YouTube. Either way, the affirmative action wonder is as sorry excuse of a president, as Carter was before him...

Comment: Damn (Score 2) 66

by pushing-robot (#48627055) Attached to: After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

Nothing like a reminder that you live in the future.

I know we've been talking about biomechatronics for decades, but Moore's Law and developments in nanomaterials are making things possible that were the stuff of science fiction just a few years ago. Simply put, we're starting to build amazingly large numbers of amazingly complex structures at amazingly small scales out of amazing materials, amazingly cheap.

Mind you, that's not new either; biology has been doing that for eons. Yet being able to manufacture it, to mass-produce biological or biocompatible materials like BCIs and prosthetic organs, is a remarkable and wholly new development. I fully expect the next half century will see a medical revolution that rivals the computer revolution of the last.

The only possible interpretation of any research whatever in the `social sciences' is: some do, some don't. -- Ernest Rutherford